Mike Silverman found this remarkable statement on the website for James Bush, until recently the minister at a Southern Baptist church here in Lawrence.:
I have read the report the City Commission received from the city staff as well as reviewed the comments made by citizens of Lawrence and members of the City Commission. If I am elected to the City Commission, I would vote in favor of adopting the domestic registry. I support the registry because it affirms the relationship of domestic partners and it can provide employers an avenue to provide health insurance to employees who participate in the domestic registry. I think the big question now concerns how the Kansas Attorney General’s office will rule on the proposal. – James Bush
Like Mike, I figured Bush was a stealth candidate for the right wing, but this makes that unlikely. A bill forbidding Lawrence from keeping a list of domestic partners is stalled in the legislature, and will be back next year, so this may all be academic.
Bush remains firmly in the Chamber of Commerce column on most issues, and indeed that may explain his support for this bill. It simplifies matters for companies with existing domestic partnership benefits, and shows Lawrence to be a place that would be welcoming of all employees of new businesses and of their families, however those families are constituted. Civil rights are good for business, not just the moral bottom line.
This means that only two candidates of the six candidates have not backed the registry, the two other Chamber candidates. Both have said they would study the issue, and might well back the registry.