Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Story on bill banning domestic partner benefits in CJ today

I was quoted in an article in today's Louisville Courier-Journal on domestic partner benefits at state universities. A couple of interesting things about the article:

1. Politicians on either side don't seem to want to touch it (at least not now, before the election). Mark Pitsch, the reporter who wrote the story, couldn't get any politician (other than Rep. Stan Lee (R-Lexington) who sponsored the bill) to comment.

2. According to the story, "U of L defines an employee's domestic partner as a person of the same or opposite gender who is at least 18 years old, in 'a long-term relationship of indefinite duration with an exclusive mutual commitment,' financially responsible for a partner's financial well-being and debts, unrelated by blood and not married or committed to any other partner." Why are we excluding people who are "unrelated by blood"? Why can't we include a live-in relative who we are taking care of? Why do they take a back seat to what are essentially live-in sexual partners?

3. And in case there was any doubt about the fact that this policy is kowtowing to special interest political groups, there was this: "Wes Wright, the [Fairness Alliance's] legislative director, said the group has been mobilizing faculty and staff at state universities in anticipation of a bill like Lee's."

According to Kyle Dippery, staff senate chairman at the University of Kentucky, the bill, "sends a message that Kentucky doesn't want ... tolerant, forward-thinking people here." Ohhhhhhhh. Tolerant, forward-thinking people. Are these "tolerant" people the ones who consider anyone who disagrees with them to be "hatemongers"? And is it forward-thinking for our taxpayer-funded public institutions to bow the knee to special interest groups and institute policies that alienate the taxpayers who support them?

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