Archive for Saturday, April 9, 2005

Statehouse briefs

April 9, 2005

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Sebelius not warm to banning gay adoption

Topeka -- Any proposal to prohibit gays and lesbians from adopting children is likely to meet with little enthusiasm from Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

There's no such proposal in the Legislature, but some gay rights activists fear the idea could surface.

Fueling their concerns was voters' approval this week of an amendment to the Kansas Constitution banning gay marriage. The amendment also declares that only traditional unions of one man and one woman are entitled to the "rights and incidents" of marriage.

Currently, the state doesn't allow couples -- gay or straight -- to adopt children together if they are not married. However, unmarried individuals can become single, adoptive parents.

Asked during a Statehouse news conference Friday about banning adoptions by gays and lesbians, Sebelius said: "I think that, hopefully, all children need to be in a home with loving parents. That should be our wish for every Kansas child, every American child, every child who's born into the world."

She added: "I would hesitate to say, as a law, that any potential, loving parent shouldn't be able to parent a child and that we'd rather leave them parentless than with a loving parent. I think that's a very difficult situation to imagine."

Governor hasn't decided on gun legislation

Topeka -- Gov. Kathleen Sebelius hasn't decided whether she'll sign a bill sought by gun rights advocates to decrease local government regulation of firearms.

The bill would permit people to carry unloaded firearms in vehicles, if those firearms are in closed containers. It would nullify any local ordinance prohibiting the transportation of firearms or dictating how firearms must be stored inside a person's home.

Supporters argue the bill would prevent a patchwork of local ordinances and keep people who don't know a city or county's regulations on firearms -- hunters, for example -- from facing prosecution. Critics say cities and counties should be allowed to set such policies.

Sebelius said she planned to meet with representatives of both the National Rifle Assn. and the League of Kansas Municipalities.

Last year, Sebelius vetoed a bill to allow Kansans to carry concealed handguns, a move that angered the NRA and other gun rights advocates.

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