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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  • by Kris Location: Eastern KY on Jun 7, 2007 at 10:39 AM
    I have been with my partner for 16 years and I love her with all of my heart. I would do anything in this world to make sure she stays healthy and safe just as anoyone in a loving and caring long term relationship would. It is cruel to deprive someone health care or a little bit of security for their future because of the ignorance being displayed over this. I am proud of who I am and who I chose to spend my entire life with. It is the same for a hetro couple living in a committed relationship who just may think, if it isnt broken dont fix it type relationship. It makes me sad that I can walk down the street and no one really knows about my lifestyle and they will speak to me and accept me with open arms. Why would I be a different human being if they knew I was committed to my same sex partner. Wise up! Life is too short.
  • by Doug Gray Location: Lexington on Jun 7, 2007 at 08:18 AM
    So gay couples should deny thier true feelings forego happiness and live a lie just to placate the religious right whackos!?! What if the shoe was on the other foot would hetrosexuals like it if they were told that thier relationships with the opposite sex was unnatural. I have no problem with same sex marriage! I'm not gay but I think that everyone is entitled to the pursuit of happiness as guarnteed by the constitution of the United States!
  • by Sad Location: Lexington on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:21 AM
    "As such, these institutions are entitled, as are all organizations that receive private funds, to make the choice of what (if any) benefits are offered." Fine. Take the partner benefits crap out of the PRIVATE donations and don't waste my tax dollars on it.
  • by Michael Location: Lexington on Jun 4, 2007 at 04:16 AM
    Common Sense does not have any. Sounds to me like another homophobic person. Do you really think someone would choose this type of "lifestyle" as you call it so they can be ridiculed their whole life. Your LACK of common sense just proves that you are a close minded individual who refuses to accept reality. I guess gays are a threat to you, but please don't fool yourself. I guess every homophobe thinks they are so handsome, every gay guy wants them. Trust me buddy; I can walk in a locker room of naked women and I surely would NOT WANT all of them. What makes me laugh are all these people that want to quote the bible. Are every single one of you living your life word for word by the bible? HELL NO. Hypocrites! For those that think non married heterosexual couples should be included in parter benefits you have to understand one thing; you have the opportunity to get legally married to receive these benefits; gays do not. I'll agree with Voice of Reason...a gay person has not had any negative impact on my life and what they do doesn't affect me one bit.
  • by t Location: manchester on Jun 3, 2007 at 07:45 PM
  • by Christy Location: Georgetown on Jun 3, 2007 at 07:38 PM
    I don't think that they sholud make insurance available to non married which ever your sexual preference couples. How many times would the insurance companies have to add and/or remove names everytime someone had a fight broke up and took their partner off their insurance. After a while the insurance company will raise rates for all the paper that they will have to waste. Also it is WRONG TO LIVE TOGETHER WITHOUT BEING MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!
  • by CC Location: LEX on Jun 3, 2007 at 04:12 PM
    Get rid of marriage for all. Only permit civil unions for heterosexual and homosexual relationships. I thought marraige was about God not government. Grow up you pathetic taliban Christians. What you have to have the blessings of President Clinton???? Thought it was God!!!
  • by Lynn Location: Richmond on Jun 3, 2007 at 02:52 PM
    This is not a religious argument. At least, it shouldn't be. I am appalled at the number of responses that assume both the lifestyle and religious choices of those who support domestic partner benefits. That aside, it is the choice of both UK and U of L to offer or not offer said benefits. Their students pay tuition to those schools, as they do in every college or university in this commonwealth. As such, these institutions are entitled, as are all organizations that receive private funds, to make the choice of what (if any) benefits are offered. I was unaware that Kentucky had become a dictatorship wherein the governing bodies have complete control of business. As for the assumption that the insurance coverage of homosexuals and their partners would increase premiums because of HIV and AIDS, that is simply absurd. For that to be a valid argument, one would also have to eliminate coverage for the fastest growing groups within the population. Based on this reason (or lack there of) one should eliminate insurance coverage for African-American women and for people over the age of 55. A government that supports domestic partner benefits (whether they be same or opposite sex) is not condoning immorallity, it is simply allowing its citizens free choice. Lastly, here is a bit from the constitution. Not the commonwealth's, but the nation's. In Article I Section 10 it states, "No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or LAW IMPAIRING THE OBLIGATION OF CONTRACTS, or grant any title of nobility." I do believe that the US constitution superceeds and over rules Kentucky's.
  • by Common Sense Location: Southern Kentucky on Jun 3, 2007 at 11:37 AM
    Gays, (edited), Homosexuals, Lesbians, or whatever word that describes this perverted lifestyle, is entitled to equal protection of the law and nothing further. If they don't like Kentucky, there is always San Francisco, CA.
  • by an enployee of Time Warner Nation Division Location: central kentucky on Jun 3, 2007 at 10:52 AM
    Time Warner, a communications company that now operates in Kentucky, does not allow benefits to extend to domestic partners unless it is a gay union.We have couples (man and woman) that have lived together for years and have children together and the partner is not included in the employee benefit program. Gay couples are included in the program.
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