06 March 2008

Gay Marriage Ceremony Cancelled at NKU

Gay people have families too, and this blog supports their right to marry and raise children. In that vein, I found this article from the NKU Northerner relevant to this blog.

Basically, NKU administrators stopped a gay marriage event because they are worried that the publicity of such an event would energize opponents in the State Legislature with the end result being a loss of their ability to provide benefits to gay faculty members and their families.


Minister bails on ceremony
University's concerns prompt Lapin to rescind offer to officiate same-sex marriage
By: Jesse Call Posted: 3/5/08

One day prior to scheduled same-sex marriage ceremonies being held on campus, the ordained minister chosen to officiate over the ceremony, who also happens to be a Northern Kentucky University faculty member, got cold feet.
...
Sam Lapin, a communication arts lecturer at the Grant County Center and a minister ordained through the Universal Life Church, an interfaith religious organization, had originally agreed to conduct the wedding services of same-sex couples on the main campus at a celebration of Freedom to Marry Day, organized by Common Ground, a student organization supporting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community, Feb. 19. Lapin said he was asked to participate in the event after the group, unaware of his ties to NKU, found his Web site. However, he said he ultimately decided not to participate because he had some of the concerns as the administration and his supervisors had.

... e-mails revealed Lapin and others were concerned that he was being intimidated and that he was questioned about the event's legality.
...
In the Commonwealth of Kentucky, neither same-sex marriages nor civil unions are legally recognized. Marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman.
...
"This incident is exactly the sort to reinforce cynicism in our students about political activism and the importance of free expression in a democratic society," Alberti said in his e-mail to the administrators. "The students involved are among the most idealistic and committed on our campus, and they deserve better than to have their event undermined through the inappropriate pressure placed on a faculty member."
...
According to Common Ground Ambassador, Maggie Lewis, the group is still planning to have a marriage event, but are working out the details and taking more time to plan the event. She declined to name specifics until the planning was complete.
...
The proposed state legislation said to be behind the concerns of the supervisors, administration, and Lapin is Senate Bill 112. That bill simply adds a few definitions within state law relating to health benefits for public employees. The definitional changes would define spouse as "a person to whom the employee is legally married pursuant to Kentucky state law." In addition, it excludes domestic partners from the definition of a "family member."


The Full Article is here.

2 comments:

Queer in the Cincy said...

Why, I wonder, do states more readily give rights to the state employees but not to anyone else?

It's really unusual.

Queer in the Cincy said...

Why, I wonder, do states more readily give rights to the state employees but not to anyone else?

It's really unusual.