Domestic partnership registry unanimously passed by Columbia City Council

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 10:46 a.m. CDT, Thursday, April 9, 2009
Click here for the official Columbia City Council ordinance.

COLUMBIA — Seats at Monday's City Council meeting were filled with members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community wearing rainbow stickers that were passed out before the meeting.

Dick Blount, a retired United Methodist pastor of 50 years, received a standing ovation from the audience when he stated his supportive view about the domestic partnership registry that came before the council.

"These, my brothers and sisters, are the last group that has not yet been given what is their right," Blount said during public comment. "That's all we're asking for. We're not trying to make the issue complex."

The Columbia Human Rights Commission voted unanimously at its March 3 meeting to recommend the council pass an amendment to Chapter 12 of the City Code to establish a domestic partnership registry. The council followed that request, passing the amendment by another unanimous vote Monday.

The new registry not only gives partners a document that can be used for employee and health care benefits, but it also requires that domestic partners be treated the same as married couples for purposes of access and family discounts to city-owned recreational and other facilities.

Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe made it clear that employers are not legally bound to the registry.

"The ordinance does not impose any obligations on employers and businesses, but makes the registry available if they want to use it," Hoppe said. "This just helps people with their lives. Life is difficult enough without extra barriers." 

During public comment, community members shared personal stories and pointed out the registry's benefits.

D.J. Lanza said when his partner of seven years died, he was evicted from his residence because his name was not on the lease.

Erin Horth, a member of MU LGBT activist group the Triangle Coalition, emphasized the impact a registry might have on the community, as well as MU.

"Not only will this registry, if it passes, bring rights to the community but will enhance the diversity of the entire university community," Horth said.  "If these benefits are not offered, staff and faculty that might be interested in coming to the university may turn away and decide to go somewhere else where more benefits will be offered to them. I don't think that's fair to us as students that such qualified faculty should be turned away because of something that the city does not offer."

Nathan Gerth also pointed out potential benefits.

"By the City Council passing this, it would increase visibility, inclusiveness and acceptance," Gerth said. "I do feel that if domestic partnership is passed we would sense a more welcoming atmosphere also in the employment section as well. This is something that we need to do, and we need to do it now."

A.J. Bockelman, executive director of PROMO, an LGBT advocacy group, expected the amendment to pass but said he was surprised that all council members were supportive of the registry.

First Ward Councilman Paul Sturtz shared a more personal perspective.

"It's a very simple choice," Sturtz said at the meeting. "It's a matter of justice. And as someone who has a sister who's a lesbian, it's something I've been immersed in for most of my life."

"It's extremely important to uphold the same protection rights and dignity to same-sex partnerships. It's a pleasure to vote on this after our neighbors to the north did something even more courageous," Sturtz said, referring to the Iowa Supreme Court's decision Friday that legalized gay marriage in the state.

Mayor Darwin Hindman shared Sturtz's view.

"It's also a recognition by the council as we represent our community that this is an open, receptive community, tolerant community, of everybody," Hindman said. "That's important, I think for our self-respect and for the quality of life that we want to have in our community."

All requests to be included on the domestic partnership registry must be processed through the Department of Public Health and Human Services, which will keep record of the registry. There will be a fee of $25 to file a request.

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Ray Shapiro April 7, 2009 | 3:10 a.m.

No surprise.
They're just pandering.
Paul Sturtz might think he's helped his Lesbian sister. I think he's doing more harm than good.
IMHO, the homosexual lifestyle should not be encouraged or considered equal to heterosexuality.
This is a ploy for gays to move closer to government sanctioned marriage. It does next to nothing for heterosexuals.
Gay couples and heterosexuals can utilize an attorney or sign HIPPA release forms to accomplish what needs to be accomplished.
The following carries little weight for approving a registry as those companies who already offer benefits to cohabitants already have their approval criteria in place.
{ Three of Columbia’s top employers, the University of Missouri, MU Health Care and Columbia Public Schools, do not offer domestic partnership benefits, and the existence of a registry would not force them to do so. The city and Boone Hospital Center do offer such benefits, and Huddlestonsmith said many Fortune 500 companies in Columbia, including Office Depot, where his partner used to work, offer them as well.}
The proposed registry does more harm than good, unless you are pro-homosexual.
This is a moral issue not a civil rights issue. The road our council members take on this registry will hurt traditional family norms and distort choices made by our future young.
Let those who think they've achieved validity and acceptance rejoice. I for one am disappointed.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 7, 2009 | 4:45 a.m.

More evidence of the decaying morals in our society. This is just one of the pre cursors to even worse times to come.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz April 7, 2009 | 4:50 a.m.

Ray, if this is such a bad thing in your view, why weren't you are at the council arguing against it? I don't think Sturtz and company are pandering at all, or encouraging the homosexual lifestyle as you call it. A little domestic partnership registry in Columbia sure wouldn't seem to make the pain, alienation, and judging any less real, nor seem to be much encouragement to "become gay" if that is your assertion.

You're mistaken if you think this won't be used by heterosexual couples as well. Certainly not to the degree that gay couples would, but that's understandable since marriage is not an option for them, even though there are many gay couples who are just as committed (some might say even more so) than married straights. I know some gay couples whose relationships have lasted longer than straight marriages I have witnessed.

As for your claim that "Gay couples and heterosexuals can utilize an attorney or sign HIPPA release forms to accomplish what needs to be accomplished." I have heard that does not offer a 100% ironclad guarantee for hospital visitation (never mind how a HIPPA (sic) release form would matter, if such exists or is relevant). This registry lets unmarried couples, straight and gay, document their status so they don't have to pay a lawyer for what should be standard practice.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro April 7, 2009 | 6:25 a.m.

The die was cast. I can see the direction the politicians are going in. Why waste my time when they know I'm right but refuse to go against the tide. Apparently I am in the minority, (or so it seems.) I'll armchair this one and go on the record how I choose. However, there will be things to come...
All in the name of the gay agenda...

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 7, 2009 | 6:49 a.m.

The main problem I see in this is our elected in good standing so called Christian politicians who we all voted in to uphold the declining morals running rampant in our society these days now failing what America once stood for.

This country used to live and die by it's Christian Morals to the bitter end but now our elected in good faith political leaders are rolling over or should I say bending over allowing this society as a whole to sink deeper into decline.

This is but one piece in the much bigger puzzle that has brought down many nations before in time. So it seems the way our society is going today.

(Report Comment)
Aaron Cook April 7, 2009 | 8:25 a.m.

I still haven't heard how this will have a negative impact on anyone.

(Report Comment)
Mysti Niermann April 7, 2009 | 8:26 a.m.

A few points of contention, in reference to some earlier comments.

First, I have a hard time believing in such a thing as a "homosexual lifestyle." I know some people still throw this term around (obviously), but the amount of misinformation that goes into such a statement makes it almost laughable to me. What, as if by not being wholeheartedly straight, one must therefore live a life that is markedly different from someone who chooses a partner of the opposite sex? This is old thinking, and a result of the "us and them" paradigm that shows it's face in issues such as these, as well as racism, and general intolerance.

Beyond that, I also refuse to accept the idea that homosexuality is immoral. Let us take a step back for a moment and actually come to realize that two people loving each other and connecting spiritually and physically, to the end of melding their two souls into one, cannot be immoral. Even further, if one (such as I) decides to choose a life partner based on things other than what's between their legs, and that person just happens to end up having the same parts as me..... what about that makes me immoral? Personally I'm sometimes appalled by how much is decided about a person based on their sex organs. It's crude. Practically barbaric.

And finally, disregarding whether or not it is immoral to partner with a person of one's same sex. Do you really mean to outlaw everything you find immoral? Or will it only be the things that make you feel uncomfortable?? Furthermore, who decides which set of morals to abide by? Even within the Christian faith itself (of which I am a part, by the way), there are many varied codes of ethics. Some sects would have us outlaw television, completely dismantle Hollywood, bring back prohibition, and mandate women to wear dresses when in public, while others would only insist that you strive to do no harm to your fellow man and to create rather than destroy. (I think it's clear where my faith lies in this spectrum.)

Some people are just going to have to face the fact that that whole separation of church and state thing really exists and, what do you know, was put in for a reason. In this country, religion is NOT mandated, and as such, neither are the code of morals of any specific religion. Laws should enforce social morals, certainly, those that keep our society working and productive, but I'm afraid that's the extent of the law's role in such a matter.

Mysti Skye Niermann

(Report Comment)
Nope Don't WAnt to April 7, 2009 | 9:12 a.m.

I'm sorry, I'm missing something here. How can the city issue these? Are they forgetting Amendment 2 from 2004 that clearly states that marriage is between a man and a woman. Calling it a partnership isn't any different if you have the ordinance "requires that domestic partners be treated the same as married couples". Can someone clarify this?

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand April 7, 2009 | 9:17 a.m.

What is the estimated cost to taxpayers? This makes more people eligible for benefits, discounts, etc., so surely the council must have asked for an estimate of the cost over the next few years. So what is it?

(Report Comment)
Aaron Cook April 7, 2009 | 9:18 a.m.

Nope Don't WAnt to--

How does this impact your life?

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand April 7, 2009 | 9:35 a.m.

This is a reasonable question, which should be asked regardless of one's views on homosexuality. Plus, this ruling covers domestic partnerships between mean and women, too, not just between members of the same sex.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking April 7, 2009 | 9:44 a.m.

Here is the bill that passed. I did not see any analysis of costs. There is a filing fee for registration of a domestic partnership.


(Report Comment)
Wes Myers April 7, 2009 | 9:46 a.m.

FIRST this action is illegal under Missouri law.
SECOND it places additional cost on city government at a time of underfunded NECESSARY public programs.
THIRD this action is supporting a selective minority that is laying claim to benefits that are reserved for a man & woman that are married.

How does this impact me?

The cost to maintain this will be taken from my tax dollars.
This action of the city council does not represent the attitudes of the majority of the citizens they are suppose to represent.
This issue was voted on by the entire state of Missouri and was defeated, the state constitution is not something that you can just ignore if it doesn't fit a small group of minority people.
Why should I pay additional insurance premiums support a social minority that their only claim to minority status is that they wish live in a un-natural lifestyle?

(Report Comment)
Matt Y April 7, 2009 | 10:01 a.m.

This is a great first step, and I applaud the council for standing up for human decency.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 7, 2009 | 10:11 a.m.

>>> This issue was voted on by the entire state of Missouri and was defeated, the state constitution is not something that you can just ignore if it doesn't fit a small group of minority people. <<<

So by this it must mean that the City of Columbia is in blatant violation of the State Constitution you are saying here?

Well isn't that a kicker and what is or are the penalties for a known and presently seated governing body if they are in violation of the State Constitution?

Could this be the kicker that sends all of the presently sitting City Council out the door?

(Report Comment)
J W April 7, 2009 | 10:12 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
Charles Dudley Jr April 7, 2009 | 10:25 a.m.

J W not all people who are protesting against this are Bible Thumpers as you so lump us together.

Alot of people protesting this are for the keeping and staying power of the traditional family unit and all of it's values that go along with it and what it teaches which LBGTQ or whatever the alphabet soup is they call themselves this week do not present to the public eye.

Last I knew God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.

(Report Comment)
Jake Sherlock April 7, 2009 | 10:28 a.m.

Just to add to the conversation here:

The amendment made to the Missouri Constitution in 2004 shouldn't apply here. You can read the full addition to the constitution here:

The entire amendment reads: "Section 33. That to be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman."

Since the council's decision has nothing to do with marriage, the amendment doesn't apply.

Jake Sherlock
Opinion editor

(Report Comment)
Nope Don't WAnt to April 7, 2009 | 10:30 a.m.

I don't believe a human indecency is being committed when someone doesn't offer benefits to a homosexual couple, so that argument is non-applicable.

You did not however answer my question of how this law is going around Amendment 2 from 2004. Overwhelmingly passed to place this provision in the state constitution. But we should overlook the constitution and only abide by what the ground council of Columbia says?

I am not a business owner, but I would not follow nor abide by this ordinance, and lay basis for my decision in the Missouri Constitution, a higher authority than the Columbia City Council ordinance.

(Report Comment)
Nate Kennedy April 7, 2009 | 10:48 a.m.

This is great for como! Re-elect Hoppe today!

(Report Comment)
J W April 7, 2009 | 10:50 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
David Huddlestonsmith, M.D. April 7, 2009 | 11:29 a.m.

Last night, the unanimous approval of the Domestic Partnership Registry substantiates the knowledge that EDUCATION OF THE PUBLIC is the only way in which "Diversity" and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will ever to be fully embraced by our society. "We all are born with equal and inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms". Sadly, many people are so misinformed about "Homosexuality" in general, and they give harsh and cruel treatment to others that happen to be different than them. The only part of Homosexuality that is a "choice" is that of learning to accept the fact that one is Homosexual and learn to live with this knowledge and to strive to be a moral and ethical member of society just all other members do.
Approximately 10% of our society is Homosexual. This means that about 1 in every 10 people that are in your life are Homosexual, but most people do not realize this fact.
In general, the issues about Homosexuality have been perpetuated in many of the so called "Christian Churches", have built up barriers that are extremely difficult to overcome in trying to educate many of these church members. Many of the parishners will choose to believe what they hear from the pulpits and not take the time or effort to research what they are hearing which would allow them to become informed enough to make their own decisions about the subject.

This problem has a significant impact on our society in that the youth who find out that they are "different", like being Homosexual or Transgender, far too frequently are kicked out of their traditional homes with no funds, nowhere to actually go that is safe, and they become the "Youth at Risk". (Imagine a 13 or 14 year old child that is kicked out of their home, onto the streets, just because they are discovered to be "different"). This "message" continues to push the "at risk youth" into having the highest rate of suicide in our society.
This Domestic Partnership does not give any of the "rights" that one can get in a traditional marriage. It simply validates the fact that the couple that has registered has met the requirements that are set forth in the guidelines and text of this Registry, and this validation may then be used for several pursuits as in Health Care Visitation of our partners, use and access to city facilities as a couple/family, the possibility of Employer Benefit Plans if the Employer so chooses to offer benefits to Domestic Partners. In no way is this even comparable to the benefits of a Legal Marriage.
This Registry is at no cost to the Taxpayers. There is a Filing Fee of $25, and this will cover any expenses associated with the Domestic Partnership Registry. All couples are encouraged to receive a copy of "Life Choices" which is an excellent pamphlet published by our State Attorney General, and was recently revised.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz April 7, 2009 | 11:55 a.m.

Some of the comments to this story, just as with the Tribune's various articles, show a big problem with certain members of our society. No, I'm not talking about arguing gay marriage, pro or con. I'm talking about people who make comments without even reading the story or being informed on the matter from previous articles in the media. People, if you want to rant, please do so with the facts such as the comment immediately prior to mine.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 7, 2009 | 12:38 p.m.

J W you are wrong the traditional family unit still does exist and needs to be preserved at all costs.

(Report Comment)
Matt Y April 7, 2009 | 12:54 p.m.

Wrong yet again, Chuck.

Now provide me with your evidence.

(Report Comment)
Matt Y April 7, 2009 | 1:00 p.m.
(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley April 7, 2009 | 1:05 p.m.

I see no harm in the Domestic Partnership Registry, since acknowledgment of it by private business is strictly voluntary.

I think that it gives greater flexibility to private business, and that is always a good thing in my opinion. Whereas before I am not so sure that private business had the flexibility to decide if it wanted to acknowledge domestic partnership and treat it as a marriage in the way of giving benefits to the domestic partners, I believe private business may have been bound by law not to.


(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand April 7, 2009 | 1:19 p.m.

So based on what I've read -- or, more precisely, not read -- here and in the Tribune, although the city has been saying for more than a year that its budget is extremely tight:

1) The council hasn't said how much the expanded benefits, discounts, etc. will cost, and

2) No reporter bothered to ask.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley April 7, 2009 | 1:22 p.m.

That's a good point Ayn, and one that is easily overlooked but nonetheless very important.


(Report Comment)
John Schultz April 7, 2009 | 1:34 p.m.

Ayn, the registry is a voluntary one that employers are free to use or not use with their employees. If the story that Ray pasted from wherever in the first comment is accurate, the city already gives benefits to domestic partners, so no change will occur there.

(Report Comment)
Mysti Niermann April 7, 2009 | 3:09 p.m.

Re "Adam and Steve" comment : God also didn't make roller skates....

Re "OMG I MIGHT HAVE TO PAY MONEY SO OTHER PEOPLE CAN HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS AS ME" : Just remember, the South lost a LOT of good, free labor when slavery was outlawed. Now who wants to argue that cost to the 'ruling class' should have decided this matter?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro April 7, 2009 | 3:40 p.m.

Thanks for adding to reasons why our society is having so many problems with youth crimes, mental illness and decaying morals.
Gay agenda threatens family values
Jul 3, 2007 ...
In order to get their ideology implemented, they must destroy traditional values. ...
Be alarmed at the flood of homosexual materials/programs being introduced in our schools — further assault on family values and religious beliefs. Who, exactly, are victimizing kids identified as homosexual? We see these teens being exploited by gay, lesbian and bisexual adults; paraded through city streets in "Youth Gay Pride" events; taken to "Gay Proms" where bizarre adults invite them to "get acquainted parties;" schools forced to celebrate "gayness" during the annual "Day of Silence" — all at taxpayer expense. Irresponsible adults emphasize children's alleged difference and use them as fodder to promote the gay agenda. The movement to defeat gay marriage, as well as restoration of taxpayer control of our schools, will continue. Four years is a beginning. Citizens in general have no idea of the power and influence of the homosexual movement in Massachusetts and the country. For those not content to live in a gay-ruled society, learn more and join the hundreds of others who have enlisted just since June 14 at

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 7, 2009 | 6:36 p.m.

I think ray shapiro put this all into proper context once again.

(Report Comment)
Mysti Niermann April 7, 2009 | 6:57 p.m.

*rolls eyes*
More "us and them"...
Divide yourselves as you will. Those of us who choose to love and support our fellow human beings, who take the time to actually get to know someone before deciding they and everyone "like" them are detrimental to society and family values (such as love and open-minded support that allows a youngster to feel safe and accepted in their own homes, leading to a lasting family structure in which children both love and respect their parents by choice, and will, in turn, support their parents old age)shall continue on and allow the rest of you to poison your minds and souls with hate.

(Report Comment)
Mysti Niermann April 7, 2009 | 6:59 p.m.

*support their parents IN old age

(Report Comment)
Danielle Kelly April 7, 2009 | 7:02 p.m.

I am a lesbian tax payer, and if you, Wes and others, do not want to pay taxes for the LGBT community to have the same rights as you, I do not wish to pay taxes for the rights heterosexuals have that I do not. That would only take away about $40 from the state with my small income, however if you add up every LGBT member who does not want to pay taxes for the rights they are denied, I will bet this economy would be even more worse off. So maybe heterosexuals should get that stick out of their ass and treat others as they would want to be treated. And to the comment about our fore-fathers not wanting gay rights and how America was established with Christian morals should remember the amendment in the Constitution about the seperation of church and state. America was founded because of religious reasons, but our forefathers made a constitution that would prohibit any religious conflict with the state, and it seems as though our nation has forgotten the Golden Rule, "Do on to others as you would have done on to you." I may be atheist, but I have morals, and my parents taught me the difference between right and wrong. Denying someone their constitutional right is wrong, beating up someone because they are different is wrong, but loving everyone and treating them equally is right. I just wish those people who are against gay rights could know what it is like to hide their true identity from the world in fear of loosing your job, kids, house, life. For just one day, I want you to hide who you truely are. I want to see how long you would last. Maybe after a day in the shoes of a LGBT you wouldn't be so close minded and unjust.

(Report Comment)
Mysti Niermann April 7, 2009 | 7:44 p.m.

Umm... just fyi, I know the young woman above (in fact she's my fiancee) and she didn't mean /all/ heterosexuals. She's just.... a bit angry. Which is understandable. She needed to get her feelings out quickly and didn't realize the major faux pas she unwittingly committed.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro April 7, 2009 | 8:05 p.m.

We've all been emotional/passionate about the people and issues which we are concerned about.
In my book, this is not hate against the people who try to live as best they can in a world which they feel is against them.
I see it more in the vein of social engineering and we all have a ways to go on that one.
Enjoy your victory.

(Report Comment)
Travis Johnson April 7, 2009 | 9:37 p.m.

I applaud the City Council for listening to the public and how it will assist people in their day to day lives. The Domestic Partnership Registry does not take anything away from other citizens. It simply helps to give more rights to individuals that deserve them. We all pay taxes and we support each other as a society. That is what the founding of this Country was about and it is what still ties all of us together.

I believe that this registry will help to include more couples (homosexual and heterosexual) in the community and validate their relationships. Some people simply don't believe in marriage, which makes this an alternative so that they can still get some legal benefits. It is news like this that makes me happy about the community it which I live.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro April 7, 2009 | 10:12 p.m.

Don't be so naive.
They listened to the public and then made a decision to vote in a certain way. There are many people who were and are still against this registry and are concerned about how it could be used to advance the gay agenda.
Time will tell.

(Report Comment)
Mysti Niermann April 8, 2009 | 1:44 a.m.

What's this gay agenda and why didn't I get the memo?? Is there some sort of conspiratorial and treasonous mailing list I'm missing out on?

(And goodness gracious, do NOT take me seriously...)

(Report Comment)
John Schultz April 8, 2009 | 2:56 a.m.

It's OK Mysti, Ray's single straight agenda is threatening my marriage somehow. No one is safe!

(Report Comment)
Heather Sheridan April 8, 2009 | 3:49 a.m.

Ok I'm going to violate my membership rules and risk having to give back all of my toaster ovens by reprinting the "Gay Agenda."I hope I do not lose my membership card.

I know that many of you have heard Pat Robertson, Jerry Fallwell and others speak of the "Homosexual Agenda," but no one has ever seen a copy of it. Well, I have finally obtained a copy directly from the Head Homosexual. It follows below:

6:00 am Gym
8:00 am Breakfast (oatmeal and egg whites)
9:00 am Hair appointment
10:00 am Shopping
12:00 PM Brunch

2:00 PM
1) Assume complete control of the U.S. Federal, State and Local Governments as well as all other national governments,
2) Recruit all straight youngsters to our debauched lifestyle,
3) Destroy all healthy heterosexual marriages,
4) Replace all school counselors in grades K-12 with agents of Colombian and Jamaican drug cartels,
5) Establish planetary chain of homo breeding gulags where over-medicated imprisoned straight women are turned into artificially impregnated baby factories to produce prepubescent love slaves for our devotedly pederastic gay leadership,
6) bulldoze all houses of worship, and
7) Secure total control of the INTERNET and all mass media for the exclusive use of child pornographers.

2:30 PM Get forty winks of beauty rest to prevent facial wrinkles from stress of world conquest
4:00 PM Cocktails
6:00 PM Light Dinner (soup, salad, with Chardonnay)
8:00 PM Theater
11:00 PM Bed (du jour)"

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 8, 2009 | 4:43 a.m.

Heather Sheridan you really need to get out more and research more across the internet to be sure you actually know what you are talking about in debating this issue.

Oh and get more sleep you will feel so much better.

>>> Discriminating against gays when it comes to marriage would also be a wise move. Various studies have shown that children from non-traditional families--lacking either a mother or a father’s influence--are more likely to attempt suicide, drop out of high school, commit crime, run away from home, or become teen parents. When society picks up the bill, then it also ought to be able to make the rules. <<<

(Report Comment)
Heather Sheridan April 8, 2009 | 4:57 a.m.

Charles some people are parents who sometimes have to stay up keeping an eye on sick children. Oh I do know what I am talking about in debating this issue. What I posted is called a JOKE. Perhaps you should research satire. Or perhaps get out more and find a sense of humor. I get out plenty thank you and am very well educated as a few posters here who know me can attest to. So get over yourself and do not presume to assume you know me or where I come from.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand April 8, 2009 | 6:53 a.m.

"We all pay taxes and we support each other as a society."

Not true. Some of us could be working and paying taxes but choose not to.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro April 8, 2009 | 7:57 a.m.

“The agenda and vision that we must proudly articulate is that
yes, indeed, we intend to change society.”
–Matt Foreman, president of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, Nov. 10, “Creating Change” conference

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 8, 2009 | 8:19 a.m.

Heather Sheridan I guess you just missed raw humor. Maybe you should go research on that.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 8, 2009 | 8:24 a.m.

>>> and am very well educated as a few posters here who know me can attest to. <<<

Heather Sheridan yup two postings and only one search reference per this news paper you are a star there kiddo. Gratz.

Sorry not impressed.

Nurse next case!!!!

(Report Comment)
J W April 8, 2009 | 8:45 a.m.
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Ray Shapiro April 8, 2009 | 9:04 a.m.

There are powers and dynamics at work far greater then me which could threaten any heterosexual guy's relationship.
Who's on Top?
Save the Males
(broken site, can be accessed via: Save the Males)
Gender Identity:

(Report Comment)
Heather Sheridan April 8, 2009 | 9:24 a.m.

Charles I did not say they knew me from this newspaper forum. But that they know me. As in they know me in real life not some vitual online life. I count three posters who know me and two of them know my partner also. As for me being a kiddo, once again you have no idea how old I am so do not assume you do. I am an educated and outspoken individual. In fact my children attended Benton Elementary School last year and one of them was in the classroom that had the mold in it. I was the parent that was quoted as saying "Please stop poisonign my children." Mind you they did not report the context in which I said it. But our actions that night got a response from the teacher having been blown off for 3 years being told there was no money to fix her room. To the room suddenly being renediated starting two days after the meeting.
I am not looking for a pissing contest with you. You jumped me and attacked my intelligence and research. Perhaps it is you who should do more research on the issue.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz April 8, 2009 | 9:43 a.m.

Ray, short of someone putting a gun to my head and telling me to divorce my wife "or else", there's not much anyone can do in this wide wide world to threaten my marriage. Letting same-sex couples tie the knot wouldn't do one bit to make my marriage less legitimate, nor impact how I raise my children.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro April 8, 2009 | 10:08 a.m.

{... impact how I raise my children.)
You don't have as much "control" over your children as you might think.
What they experience in the classroom, see on television and whatever laws of the land exist will impact/influence there choices. (Consciously or unconsciously.)
Also, You can simplify the issue with the word "legitimate" however I view it as a larger social issue. It's not just about you and your Mrs.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz April 8, 2009 | 10:14 a.m.

Ray, go re-read what I said. If gay marriage was legalized in Missouri and the hypothetical gay couple down the street from my house got married, how will that impact my marriage or how I raise my children? Videogames and TV (and I'm referring to the typical kid programming, not social programming that I think you are alluding to) are a much bigger worry when it comes to raising children than allowing two grown adults to enter into marriage. Frankly, my kids already know some gay couples, but aren't old enough to realize it - and it won't change them negatively one iota once they do.

(Report Comment)
Christopher Foote April 8, 2009 | 10:15 a.m.

Mr Dudley,
You have previously expressed your disdain for controlled studies (studies demonstrating the health benefits of raw milk, for example). I was therefore surprised to see you state this: "Various studies have shown that..."
I won't address the merit or lack thereof from the studies you cite. However, it would appear that your disdain for experimental results applies only to those studies that challenge your preconceived notions. I don't know if you've ever been in a science class or not, but that is not a sound methodology for investigating the world in which we live.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro April 8, 2009 | 10:54 a.m.

You are obviously a more confident and secure person than I am and free of any ambiguities. I am not as fortunate.

(Report Comment)
A.J. Bockelman April 8, 2009 | 11:59 a.m.

I'm a bit late to the game in posting here, but here are the direct facts involved:

-This registry will allow people to visit loved ones in the hospital.
-If a business has already offers Domestic Partner benefits (which most of the Fortune 500 already do), this registry will provide a simple way for business owners to validate the existence of a relationship.
-For the purposes of any family discounts extended Columbia area families at public entities, this registry will serve as a means to identify other family identities.
-There is no fiscal cost to the city of Columbia other than providing staff and the paper to print the registry - that is what the $25 covers.

This is a FAR cry from marriage and the 2004 Marriage Amendment only defines marriage. It does not cover any other legal relationship identification.

The arguments posted here are erroneous. How can anyone possibly claim visiting a sick partner in the hospital to be a violation or a challenge to their marriage.

(Report Comment)
Joe City April 8, 2009 | 12:59 p.m.

A.J. Bockelman April 8, 2009 | 11:59 a.m.
I'm a bit late to the game in posting here, but here are the direct facts involved:

-This registry will allow people to visit loved ones in the hospital.

I wouldn't bet on that one................

(Report Comment)
Joe City April 8, 2009 | 1:02 p.m.

About the only legal weight this thing has is that gay couples can get the beer discount/family prices at Town & Country lanes on friday nights.............

Nothing else, zip, nil, nada.................

It IS a big warm fuzzy though for Darwy & Company.
It makes them sleep good at night.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz April 8, 2009 | 1:31 p.m.

Joe, there was no legal weight intended from this registry. If a company or organization wishes to make use of this registry to see if an unmarried couple (either straight or gay) qualifies for the same treatment as a married couple, then they are able (but not required) to do so.

(Report Comment)
Me You April 8, 2009 | 2:03 p.m.

I always see this gay agenda being talked about but I never see how it relates to me and what I hope for in the country I live in.

I have an agenda but I wouldn't call it a gay one. I don't attend secret meetings where I have to get a retina scan to enter and we all have tea and discuss how to "get those Christian rascals". But people certainly go to church and talk about how to destroy our values and to keep us from being treated equally under the law in the country we pay taxes in, too.

My parents raised me Christian and told me to treat everyone how I want to be treated. It wasn't until they found out I was gay that I found out that the evil gays like me weren't included in that. Everyone has to be treated equally otherwise we haven't learned anything from our past. That's all I really see as our problem, unfortunately learning problems seem rampant in this country and that's not more important to question than what the gays are up to.

Some people need someone to step on to feel they are important. Because they're the ones shaking in their own beliefs and anything that maybe questions that is to be stamped out so there's no reason to question. You'll still have questions just no one around to answer them once you've picked off everything and everyone you could have learned something from rather they're different races, religions, gay, or just have different morals. You're the ones missing out and so are we.

(Report Comment)
Mysti Niermann April 8, 2009 | 2:23 p.m.

So I'm noticing that most of Ray's arguments here hinge on the idea that people who do not partner exclusively with those of the opposite sex are perverted, delinquent, and an out-and-out danger to society, and if they are not kept properly in their place, under the thumb of disapprovers, they will tun the youth of our society into Godless, lawless, hypersexualized HOMOS. Ok... maybe I went a little far. But maybe not. The point is, if the agenda Ray was referring to was simply changing society, then yeah, put me on the mailing list. I can fit in a walk for changing the world after my usual Relay for Life for cancer research, the MS walk, and between the Autism walk and Race for the Cure. Honey, a lot of people want to change the world. And believe me when I tell you that more and more people are joining the cause of this so-called "gay agenda" which strives only to open minds and hearts and erase the hate.

(Also, those studies which sought to establish the effect of what Charlie called "non-traditional" families dealt largely with divorced, single-parent situations in which the parents were heterosexual. And since divorced families often undergo a lot of stress and result in the estrangement of one parent figure, that's what we call a confounding variable. So, for those of you here playing the home game who /didn't/ take experimental psychology in college, that means there is no evidence of a homosexual couple having a bad influence on the development of any child in their care. Additionally, since many homosexual couples with children want to cover all their bases and be the best parents they can be, most actually go out of their way to assure that their children have beneficial male, female, homosexual, and heterosexual role models.)

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro April 8, 2009 | 7:53 p.m.

Where do babies come from?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 8, 2009 | 8:35 p.m.

Heather Sheridan if ya do not want to get jumped then stay on the porch because every body knows these comment areas get just like Sparta at times so ya best learn to roll with it kiddo because it will probably never change.

I just responded to your raw humor with raw and dry humor of my own. Get used to it.

Here this will help you to understand how these columns can get heated and quick like.

No hard feelings on my end but obviously there might be on yours.

(Report Comment)
Heather Sheridan April 8, 2009 | 8:45 p.m.

Oh no hard feelings. I realised I was trying to have an intellectual argument with an unarmed opponent, that is why I stoppped.LOL. I can run with the big dogs but my Mom always told me if you lie down with dogs yu get up with fleas, or in the case of Paquin Towers perhaps bed bugs.


If you do not know where babies come from perhaps you should go back to school or to an online sex ed class. They do not come from a cabbage patch and they are not delivered by a storch. LOL

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 8, 2009 | 8:46 p.m.

>>> ray shapiro April 8, 2009 | 7:53 p.m. Mysti:
Where do babies come from? <<<

Not from Adam and Steve if they are in a LGBTQ relationship unless they had kids before in a past heterosexual relationship that failed and they got custody of the kids.

The same goes for Anna and Eve too unless they went after artificial insemination.

Or either of the above was able to adopt.

(Report Comment)
Mysti Niermann April 8, 2009 | 8:51 p.m.

artificial insemination
surrogate motherhood

honestly, people, it's not that difficult

(Report Comment)
Matt Y April 8, 2009 | 10:21 p.m.

Makes sense to me. Yet, Mysti, these clowns would still try to argue that adoption by a stable gay couple is far worse than leaving the children to rot in the hands of the system.

Personally, I would like to see a reasoned argument against gay marriage/partnerships/whatever that didn't attempt to invoke the moralistic ramblings of near eastern, barely literate, bronze-age men.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro April 8, 2009 | 11:02 p.m.

("I don't think there is an issue that is a tougher issue for people to stand up against in American culture today than this one, both from the standpoint of the mainstream media and the popular culture condemning you for your - they can use all sorts of words to describe you - intolerant, bigot, homophobe, hater. The other side takes it personally. And so it makes it very difficult for folks to stand up and argue public policy when the other side views it as a personal, direct assault on them. So it's very, very hard for me to be optimistic when we have a battle of ideas and one side is universally hammered for being intolerant bigots and the other side is enlightened and tolerant - which I think is false, but it is the pervasive attitude.

We know that the American public doesn't approve of same-sex marriage, but they are uncomfortable about it because, again, the public perception is if you feel that way, you're a bigot or a hater. And if the culture continues to send that message, if our educational system sends that message, which it does, you know, eventually the culture will change and people's opinions will change.

The push back is what most people know: that mothers and fathers bring something unique. I mean, I have six children. I know that two mothers would not be able to give to my children what a mother and a father can give to my children. For instance, my daughter's relationship with men is, in many respects, formed by her relationship with me. There are volumes of evidence showing that if little girls don't have a father, it impacts their ability as adults to bond with men in healthy relationships.

What do we know, really, about children raised by same-sex couples? We're into, in many respects, an unknown territory. There is already a difficult environment for children in America today, at least from the traditional Judeo-Christian perspective. So I think this is a fight worth fighting, even if it's not a popular fight.")

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro April 8, 2009 | 11:15 p.m.

A Secular Case Against Gay Marriage...void of MattY's annoyance of the moralistic ramblings of near eastern, barely literate, bronze-age men..
And lots more...
(Grunt, Snarkle, Drool)

(Report Comment)
Matt Y April 9, 2009 | 12:46 a.m.

I clamor for "reasoned" arguments and you link me something from Free Republic. You're priceless, Ray. I didn't quite have the time to run through all of the comments on the second link, but it all looks to be a lot of the same stuff, so I'll focus my efforts on your first attempt.

When I first opened your link, I was pretty certain that I knew what it contained, and my suspicions were quickly affirmed after reading the first paragraph. While I disagree philosophically that marriages must serve the purpose of "propagating society", let's assume for a brief moment that that actually is the purpose of marriage.

If the state offers subsidies for married couples to encourage procreation, then why not enforce limitations on heterosexual couples in regards their progeny? A satirical bill was introduced by gay marriage supporters in Washington state, but they brought up several good points. Again, as stated, if marriage is granted to couples for the furthering of state interest due to the ability to procreate, then we are bound, by state interest, to limit marriage to only couples who are willing and able to have children. If within three years, a couple has not procreated, then strip their benefits by annulling the marriage. I read a story in this very paper today about mandatory drug tests for individuals on welfare/receiving state aid of some sort. These checks are necessary to ensure that the tax payer's money is not wasted. That seems to be something you're in favor of. Why not do the same for marriage in order to ensure that taxpayer subsidies are not going to couples who are unwilling or unable to have children? They are not furthering state interest (as homosexual couples are claimed) and thus are drains on the state-funded systems.

Needless to say, marriage is very obviously not about state interest, and opposition to it relies heavily upon the mainstream fear and disgust of gay culture and sexual practices. Unfortunately, as an egalitarian society, we have an obligation to award all equal protection under the law, no matter how much you may hate them.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 9, 2009 | 1:23 a.m.

Matt Y those who oppose LGBTQ marriage do not hate the people as you so try to post here.

It is not the people themselves but it is the principles of the issue,what it shows society as a whole and how it effects young and upcoming children and young adults later in life and those around them.

That is the principle of the issue. This is not a battle over flesh and blood but over long standing principles that not only founded this country and have held what is left of the traditional family structure together but also those same principles that brought you into this world as well unless you were a test tube baby.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro April 9, 2009 | 2:16 a.m.

If you choose to ignore answers to the following request, don't waste my time asking questions for articles which address non-morality positions against gay marriage.
("Can anyone point me to a really good article, by someone philosophically sophisticated, which argues against gay marriage? I’d like to teach the topic in a class, and have some good pro-gay marriage resources, but am a bit stumped for anti-gay marriage stuff. I want something that does not rest on religious foundations, or at least doesn’t explicitly do so. If you have a sense of my sensibilities try to recommend something you think I’ll actually like.")

(Report Comment)
Matthew Popplewell July 9, 2011 | 9:30 p.m.

I think gay marrige is everyone right. Gay and Lesbian have the right to get married as Americans I think that it should be legal every where and the goverment should go ahead let every one have our rights its going to happen some day and it should be happying and our goverment is doing so great with trying to make our state as good as it can be but one day we will have our rights just like everyone else and that day i hope comes soon. I am a Gay man that is married in the state of Iowa and my husband and I have a 6 year old son.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 9, 2011 | 9:46 p.m.

Concerning Mr. Popplewell's post. I'm just an old, straight, man, but should someone wonder, in this day and age, where the "6 year old son." came from?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 10, 2011 | 5:31 a.m.

@ frank christian:

Probably, Frank, the "6 year old son" was brought by the stork.


A pre-school girl asked her mother where she (the girl) came from.

Her mother told her she was brought by the stork.

She then asked her mother where she (her mother) came from.

Her mother told her the stork also brought her into the world.

And what about grandmother? The stork brought her too.

"Good lord, mother," said the little girl, "Are you saying that no one in this family has engaged in coitus for three generations?"


Iowa is a place where strange and miraculous things happen. For example, you can build a baseball field on your farm and long dead baseball players show up, or a legendary (male) photographer shows up to take photos of covered bridges for National Geographic magazine and ends up in the sack with an Italian-born Iowa farm wife.

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle July 10, 2011 | 8:33 a.m.

I applaud the council for work that moves towards recognizing the rights of all citizens.
Somehow, this thread became a general free-for-all "debate" in which certain folks expressed fear, anger, and anxiety over the imposition of that media/ultra-right fiction, "the homosexual agenda."
But frankly, this is largely a battle of the old vs the young. Seemingly, people between ages 18-34 overwhelming support (70%) not only civil union, but gay marriage itself. It's nice to see them express that maturity:
It's also, as one might expect, politically split. But note that close to 3-in-10 *Republicans* support legalization of gay marriage. Count up 10 of your Repub. buddies, and chances are a few of them support this. In short, public opinion is moving, and those opposed are a minority. I believe their numbers will continue to decline.
It's a Gallup poll, so we should note the fallibility of all polls--for one thing, such dramatic changes in a single year might raise questions--but still, if it's anywhere *near* accurate, then this is good news for those who support legal equality for all.
Legalization of gay marriage bolsters the family values of love, support, and respect among spouses and their children. Those are values that our society needs.

(Report Comment)

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