Domestic Partner Benefits May Be Unconstitutional

The attorney general's office says two state universities may be violating the Kentucky Constitution by extending health insurance coverage to domestic partners of employees.

Assistant Attorney General James M- Herrick wrote the opinion.

He says the definition of domestic partners used by the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville is the problem.

Herrick says the benefit is premised upon the recognition of a legal status in the two individuals that is substantially similar to marriage. Herrick says the Kentucky Constitution prevents a state institution from recognizing a legal status substantially similar to that of marriage for people who are not married.

He says one way around the problem would be to expand the definition to include any member of an employee's household.

The University of Kentucky has decided to expand employee benefits to include domestic partners. The University of Louisville already offers them.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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