A few hours after I posted an item about Kansas City Police Department yesterday, spokesman Rich Lockhart let me know the information might be misleading.
According to a police memo last week, the department is cutting domestic partner benefits in an effort to save $421,000 in a particularly tight budget year.
While such benefits allow same-sex couples to get shared health insurance, plenty of straight pairs take advantage, too. A domestic partnership, I now know, can be any man and woman living together, as well as a gay or lesbian couple.
And, apparently, the KCPD cut hit heteros the hardest. Lockhart tells me in an e-mail that only one of the eight members affected by the PD's decision is gay.
Nettie Alford, vice president of the Lesbian and Gay Community Center of Kansas City, says it still sends the wrong message when it comes to equality, though. "The issue still goes back to the fact that, even though the city has a domestic partnership registry and we're making all these strides, here's people serving the city who don't have the same benefits," she says.
Not to mention, she adds, those straight folks living in domestic bliss have the option of marriage to get back on the rolls. Until state or federal law changes, the partners of gay and lesbian cops will be out of luck -- and health insurance.