The Lawrence City Commission will be considering a proposal to maintain a registry of domestic partnerships. The state attorney general has reviewed the proposal, and feels it’s probably legal.
All the registry would do is provide a place for people (possibly restricted to Lawrence residents) to write down that they have made a lifetime commitment, and then their employers can check that registry to see which employees actually made that commitment. No employer would have to do anything, and the registry would not have any special meaning to the government or to anyone other than the registrants and their employers.
I happen to think that the city ought to provide a much stronger guarantee of rights to all its citizens, but that’s not what the commission will be voting on.
I’d like it if everyone, Lawrence residents or not, would contact the Commission and encourage them to support the registry. Lawrence residents all have an obvious stake, but I’d like all you outsiders to make a simple argument. Tell the Commissioners how it would change your view of Lawrence and/or Kansas to know that the city took such a simple step towards a more equal society.
This is the argument I used in my letter, and it’s one that should work for other straight Lawrencians. We have a harder, but potentially more compelling, case to make, since we don’t benefit from the registry in some obvious way. On the other hand, this is ultimately a service that the city provides to companies and their employees who want a central location for this information. It’s an incentive to locate a business in town, and as such, the perceptions of the smart, highly paid and undoubtedly attractive readers of TfK ought to be very interesting for the commissioners. They want to bring you and your employers/employees to Lawrence from wherever you are.
Personally, I think it’s a selling point for Lawrence that we voted against the gay marriage ban about as strongly as the rest of the state supported it. I tell people about that to show what this city is like. As I told the Commissioners when I emailed them, a domestic partnership bill would attract highly trained employees – people like me – and would draw companies which employ staff like me. It would be a symbol of the community’s values, the acceptance and openness that make Lawrence such a great city and a great place to live.
If you agree, write to the commissioners and tell them:
Sue Hack, Mayor
Michael Dever, Vice Mayor