Pro-homosexual registry moves forward in KC
By Allen Palmeri
September 9, 2003
KANSAS CITY – Pro-family and pro-homosexual groups continue to clash over the possibility of the Kansas City Council creating a domestic partner registry, a move church leaders fear is the first step toward recognizing homosexual "marriage."
The city council intends to make the registry law by May 1, but Christians are resisting the plan, which also includes provisions for providing some benefits, previously accorded only to heterosexual employees, to the live-in lovers of homosexuals employed by the city.
"They have to make it appear to be fair, but this was a done deal," lamented Jeff Krouch, a Kansas City resident who attended an Aug. 27 Finance Committee meeting in which the committee voted 2-1 on a resolution recommending the registry to the full council.
"There was no discussion," he noted.
Krouch attends First Baptist Church, Raytown, and is angry about the process. His wife, Sharry, compares it to the accommodating frog placed in a kettle of gradually boiling water, seemingly unaware of the impending threat that exists.
"I’ll do my best to get them voted out, from whatever districts they are from," Jeff Krouch said. "They obviously aren’t listening to the people, because if they would put it to a public vote they know it would never pass."
An unscientific online survey by Kansas City’s KMBC-TV indicated that 67 percent of those surveyed do not want Kansas City to establish a domestic partner registry for unmarried couples. Only 31 percent want it.
Alan Branch, vice president for student development and assistant professor of Christian ethics at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, is appalled by the arrogance of the city council. Even more appalling is the lack of participation by fellow Missouri Baptists on this issue.
"Where are Missouri Baptists?" said Branch from the Council Chamber on the 26th floor of City Hall.
Branch was one of eight people who testified against the domestic partner registry. He called it bad public policy.
"Live-in relationships outside of marriage are prone to more violence, dysfunctional relationships, and it’s bad public policy for the city to say we’re going to give some sort of stamp of approval on these relationships," Branch said.
Jesse Camacho, a member of Antioch Bible Baptist Church and an attorney who testified first on Aug. 27, vowed to continue the fight. Hits on www.defendingmarriage.com, the Web site he co-founded with his friend and fellow attorney, Steve Sanders, are up to 2,061. The Web site lists the names of 12 city council members, Mayor Kay Barnes and City Manager Wayne Cauthen, along with phone numbers.
"We are confident that the council’s recent vote to pass a resolution to formally establish a domestic partner registry does not accurately reflect the will and views of the majority of Kansas Citians," Camacho said.
The council action has caught the attention of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a pro-family organization that has won numerous court battles against the homosexual movement. Alan E. Sears, head of ADF, has decided to join the fight, according to Kevin Theriot, senior legal counsel with the new ADF office in Olathe, Kan.
ADF will be determining the legality of the domestic partner registry ordinance if the city council chooses to pass it, Theriot said. The city council’s agenda as a whole is troubling, Theriot said, but the part of it that is out in the open is what should concern the voting public the most.
"The registry itself is the biggest concern, because that’s setting up an alternative to marriage," Theriot said.
Ultimately, as seasons change and determined city officials keep flexing their muscles on this issue, citizens do have power, Branch said.
"I think the thing the city council understands more than anything else is votes," he said.