Wednesday, December 12, 2007

House Democrats attack Domestic-Partner Benefits

Democrats in the Kentucky House of Representatives have elected to attack domestic-partner benefits.

Are they crazy? There are over 550,000 Kentuckians without health insurance coverage!

During Governor Beshear’s Inaugural Speech he quoted Kentucky Senator Henry Clay as saying: “Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees. And both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people.”

Some House Democrats apparently disagree.

Ryan Alessi at Pol Watchers is also reporting this (below):

Two Democratic state lawmakers are dredging up a controversial proposal to block public universities in Kentucky from extending health benefits to unmarried, live-in partners of the institutions’ employees.

The move by state Reps. Richard Henderson, D-Jeffersonville, and Ancel Smith of Leburn already has raised eyebrows among members of their own party — especially considering new Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has repeatedly promised to veto any such bills. I had expected it but not from those two,” said Rep. Tom Burch, D-Louisville, who said he opposes the bill. “I expected it from Republicans.”

Sixteen other Democratic lawmakers have signed on to the bill, which Henderson and Smith pre-filed yesterday in preparation for the upcoming General Assembly session that begins Jan. 8.

Both Henderson and Smith said they have received pressure from constituents to block universities that receive public funding from offering such domestic partnership benefits.

“I live in an ultra conservative district with 150 churches,” Henderson said.

Trustees at several Kentucky institutions, led by the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, have approved offering health care to domestic partners of unmarried employees, including to gay couples.

Let’s hope Governor Beshear keeps his promise to veto this horrible legislation.

5 comments: said...

Being a Texas gay male, I think things are strict here. But Kentucky seems to be the most anti-gay state, as it is always in the news. Everyone should be treated equally, no matter what. Especially insurance, it's something that everyone deserves and more importantly needs.

Allanon80 said...

OK guys I know that we are upset by this, but speaking from a political science background...I can not be upset with Rep. Henderson. I am gay and if I was elected my job is to listen to my employer ie the voters. If the overwhelming majority of his district wants it then he has to do what the ppl wants. I would do the same thing, however I would go on record saying that I disagree with what they want. If we want things to change then we must educate those that want change in the first place...the voters...Not the Represenative. Now I know there are spiteful congress people that want this, but if the district wants it then you better do what your voters want. Sucks but that is how politics is supposed to work.

Bill said...

Thomas Jefferson said the Bill of Rights was necessary to protect the minority from the will of the majority. It is the responsibility of those who hold public office at any level of government to uphold and defend the US Constitution regardless of what the majority of voters might want.

James said...

In response to Allanon's post:

I agree that if Rep. Henderson really DID receive between 1,200 and 1,500 calls, as he claims, it might be significant. My personal opinion is that he is exaggerating the number for political reasons --- if that many people were really so concerned in HIS district, why aren't equal numbers making calls in OTHER representative's districts? The answer? His numbers are skewed, if not an outright lie. I simply cannot and will not believe that so many people in Henderson's largely rural district are so obsessed with the policies of two state universities, when there are much other more important issues --- like better health coverage for themselves and their children, improved educational access, creating jobs and fighting drug-related crime --- that are more relevant to Henderson's (and Smith's) districts. C'mon! These guys are just looking for a hook so that they can bilk some conservative donors out of campaign money. They're lying through their teeth about getting so many phone calls!

Anonymous said...

Uninsured cancer patients are nearly twice as likely to die within five years as those with private coverage, according to the first national study of its kind and one that sheds light on troubling health care obstacles.

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