Wichita Residents fighting to keep alcohol from being sold on Sunday are turning to churches for support, which they think will go a long way toward forcing a vote on the issue.
The Rev. Wade Moore, who is leading the petition, said a strong weekend push should bring more than the 6,701 valid Wichita voter signatures needed. The deadline for a petition to be turned in is the end of the business day today.
"We're supposed to be a Christian nation," Moore said. "And I believe that Sundays should be set aside for worship to almighty God. Banks are closed on Sundays, businesses are closed on Sunday. It's supposed to be a day of rest."
In Kansas, cities and counties have been allowed to approve Sunday alcohol sales since 2005, but the issue can be pushed to a public vote if opponents gather enough signatures.
More than 50 cities, including Lawrence, approved full-week sales by 2006. However, the serious discussion about the issue didn't surface in Wichita until last fall.
In late April, the City Council approved Sunday sales. Liquor stores and retailers would be able to sell packaged alcoholic beverages from noon to 8 p.m. Sundays.
Alcohol sales still would not be allowed on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
If the petition falls short, the Sunday alcohol sales will start July 8.
"To me, and with all respect to people who want to vote, we're surrounded by people daily from other cities that have already approved Sunday sales," said Ron Groves, who owns Groves Discount Wine & Liquor in Wichita.