Friday, June 01, 2007

AG’s opinion a “stake in the heart” for university domestic partner benefits plans

For Immediate Release
June 1, 2007
Contact: Martin Cothran
Phone: 859-329-1919

LEXINGTON, KY—The spokesman for The Family Foundation said he is gratified by the Kentucky Attorney General’s Opinion released today, stating that domestic partner benefit plans at UK and U of L are in violation of the Kentucky Constitution. “This is obviously the ‘stake in the heart’ for attempts by UK’s Lee Todd and U of L’s James Ramsey to sidestep the State Constitution,” said Martin Cothran.

“Our main argument against the university plans for taxpayers to subsidize the live-in partners of their staff was that they created a legal status similar to marriage, and that they were therefore in violation of the language placed in the constitution by the Marriage Amendment of 2004. Today, the Attorney General agreed with us. We hope those who contested our argument inside and outside the General Assembly have taken note.”

Cothran said that this was just the most recent defeat for groups like the Fairness Alliance, whose arguments in favor of domestic partner benefits plans, he said, have been systematically repudiated. “They first argued that these plans would have no impact on taxpayers—that was before UK came out with a report in January, which showed the university was planning on subsidizing the benefits for as much as $633,000 a year. Then they said U of L was not subsidizing its benefits. That too was shown to be false. Now their argument that these plans are constitutional has been put on life support. They have not had a good year.”

The Family Foundation supported Senate Bill 152, a bill proposed in this year’s General Assembly session that would have prevented public agencies from instituting domestic partner benefit plans.


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