KY House Committee Rejects Ban on Domestic Partner Benefits

March 21, 2008 ( - The Health and Welfare Committee of the Kentucky House voted to reject a Senate bill that would bar state universities and other public agencies from providing health insurance for domestic partners of employees.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports committee member David Watkins called the measure divisive and said the Senate is ignoring the state’s biggest health problems. After the Senate passed the bill last month, Senator Vernie McGaha, a bill sponsor, said it is about not sacrificing his convictions. “I do not recognize domestic partnerships as being a correct thing,” he told the Courier-Journal (See Kentucky Senate Passes Domestic Partner Benefits Ban ).

Opponents of the bill were pleased with the House vote. A spokesman for the Kentucky Fairness Alliance said it discriminates against all unmarried couples – not just gay couples. McGaha denied that he was being discriminatory and said his concern is upholding the constitutional amendment the legislature passed in 2004 to ban same-sex marriages.

David Edmunds, who represents The Family Foundation, a bill supporter, said he believed if the committee had not blocked the bill it would have passed on the full House floor.