Archive for Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Group of business leaders, churches opposed to inclusion of gender identity in Lawrence’s anti-discrimination policy

April 5, 2011, 7:29 p.m. Updated April 6, 2011, 10:28 a.m.


A group of Lawrence business leaders and churches is hoping to thwart an effort to include gender identity in the city’s anti-discrimination policy.

The group will host a meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, at Christ Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church, 2312 Harvard Road. The event is free and open to the public.

The meeting is sponsored by Voice of Reason and, according to a flier for the meeting, the group wants to show how the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender “agenda is attempting to transform our culture and how we should respond.”

Greg Cromer helped organize the gathering. He said it is in response to an ordinance passed in Manhattan that protects people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in housing, public accommodations and employment. An ordinance in Lawrence includes sexual orientation but not gender identity.

Cromer said the purpose of the meeting is to educate the public on the effect of the Manhattan ordinance.

He said inclusion of gender identity to a local ordinance could interfere with the operations of business and religious beliefs. He could not provide specifics, saying that was what the meeting will be about. He said the Manhattan ordinance has created “turmoil.”

“These are the types of issues that need to be brought to the forefront,” Cromer said.

A flier for the meeting states, “While we do not support unjust discrimination for persons choosing LGBT lifestyle, we do believe the tradition of natural law must be respected and remain the order. This is why we have chosen to educate the community about the consequences created through ordinances that defy the natural order of human sexuality.”

Speaking at the meeting will be representatives of several groups that opposed the Manhattan ordinance. They include Awaken Manhattan, the Alliance Defense Fund, Concerned Women for America and Kansas Family Policy Council.

The Lawrence/Douglas County chapter of the Kansas Equality Coalition wants Lawrence leaders to include gender identity in its anti-discrimination policy.

Thomas Witt, chairman of the Kansas Equality Coalition, said the addition of gender identity would have positive effects on the community. He said Lawrence has for years prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation, and that hasn’t hindered businesses or growth.

“That should be proof that banning discrimination is good,” he said.


RogueThrill 7 years ago

“While we do not support unjust discrimination for persons choosing LGBT lifestyle, we do believe the tradition of natural law must be respected and remain the order."

Or, in other words, we're defining our discrimination as just so that it is not unjust.

Hey, whats that! moves goal posts.

RogueThrill 7 years ago

Also, it would be interesting to see a list of businesses who support these groups.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

I too would like to see a list of businesses that support this type of discrimination. I would never step foot in a business that promotes hateful attitudes like what is being described here. I absolutely would vote with my feet and with my dollars. I will walk past your stores and spend my money at your competitors. I challenge those businesses to come forward and tell us all, are you in favor of discrimination?

somebodynew 7 years ago

I totally agree with you, but it will take some in depth investigation to figure out that information. I am quite sure the businesses that will be supporting this are well aware of what you and Rogue and a lot of other feel. Therefore they will try to be the "silent partners" in this.

They want your money, they just really don't care about you.

jenniflip 7 years ago

We would also vote with our vocal chords, and make sure that everyone we knew had a list of the businesses that supported discrimination. I'm not sure how someone identifying themselves as transgendered has any effect on me personally, or how it would effect business in Lawrence. Perhaps another discriminatory business would decide not to open here? Good riddance.

Don Whiteley 7 years ago

One need look no further than the many "women only" fitness facilities in Lawrence. Does anyone know of any "men only" facilities?

earline james 7 years ago

"Fitness facilities" are not the issue, or are you just trying to stir the pot?

suggestionbox 7 years ago

I'm for the separation of church and hate. I'm also sorry to hear any church or religious group would host a meeting to PROTEST protection from discrimination for a group they see as being different from themselves.

DeMontfort 7 years ago

How about posting a pdf of the flier?

pace 7 years ago

Why yes. I would like a list of the businesses and churches that oppose inclusion. The business of natural law, interesting, does that mean I can have a horse in my back yard?

deec 7 years ago

I don't get how churches can have meetings to plan how to influence public laws and retain their nonprofit religious status.

geekin_topekan 7 years ago

Actually Voice of Reason is the sponsor and perhaps they just rented the room?

Maybe the church wasn't the best choice of venues but, hey, it was available.

Steve Bunch 7 years ago

I think nonprofits can be involved in issues but not in party politics. Maybe someone can clarify.

DWilly 7 years ago

Because those two things are completely unrelated.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"While we do not support unjust discrimination for persons choosing LGBT lifestyle"


geekin_topekan 7 years ago

isn't it interesting how repubs can shift from the law of the bible to the law of nature at the drop of the hat.

Law of nature huh?One would think that our country was founded by Deists and not christians. Oh wait. We were!! Duh, silly me.

If someone has homosexual tendencies, would that not be instilled by natural forces - thus of God? And who are these Voices of Reason who are so sure that they have reverence, the ability to act where God is not doing his job apparently, why don't they just come out and say that they are the "elect". Or, in other words, Calvinsts, the original welfare cases that landed at Plymouth Rock in 16-whatever.

I tell ya, these religious cults are getting weirder and weirder.

overthemoon 7 years ago

and there is also the counter argument that one can not be discriminated against based on religion or creed...and those are choices, not 'a force of nature'. So if, and that's a HUGE if, gender identification is a choice (which all evidence leans against) then what's the argument??

overthemoon 7 years ago

and there is also the counter argument that one can not be discriminated against based on religion or creed...and those are choices, not 'a force of nature'. So if, and that's a HUGE if, gender identification is a choice (which all evidence leans against) then what's the argument??

foppa 7 years ago

I 100% agree with wanting to see the list of business that support the group. I would make sure my money never goes to support them. Also, not actually mentioning what those 'horrible' consequences that the Manhattan law had in the community because that's what the meeting is about surely makes it seem like they don't have any valid points... If they think that what they have to say is actually valid and important then why not share it with the rest of us? Could it be because they only reason behind their meeting is that they think that being LGBT is icky? In fact, I would like to go to their next meeting because I just can't imagine what kind of person would stand for this.

frankwiles 7 years ago

As a small business owner here in town, you know what does "interfere with the operations" of my business? Stupidity like this. While I know it's not the majority of businesses in this town, but 95+% of our customers are from outside of Kansas. Wizard of Oz jokes aside, the only things they know about Kansas:

1) We don't teach evolution 2) Fred Phelps

This kind of public in your face bigotry not only hurts my company's "reputation by location" around the country, it often kills our ability to hire the proper talent and add $60+k/year jobs to our local economy.

Joseph Jarvis 7 years ago


Lived outside Kansas for several years. All people knew was: Wizard of Oz Tornadoes Chiefs/Royals No evolution in schools Fred Phelps Bob Dole * Mistaken belief our ag. was all corn

Based on recent travel, I'd maybe add Sebelius, Brownback, and rarely Lou Engle.

deec 7 years ago

"He said inclusion of gender identity to a local ordinance could interfere with the operations of business and religious beliefs. He could not provide specifics, saying that was what the meeting will be about. He said the Manhattan ordinance has created “turmoil.” " So we don't know what the specifics of the turmoil are, and we wouldn't tellyou if we did know, but its baaad! Baaadd! "Oh we got trouble, right here in River City..."

overthemoon 7 years ago

Right. And how many people with gender identification 'issues' are there in Lawrence? Like this is not going to have a huge impact on the general public, although the impact of discrimination on those individuals is huge and devastating.

cowboy 7 years ago

headline should read whack job loons meet at church

sustainabilitysister 7 years ago

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

Beth Ennis 7 years ago

I am so happy to see so many people against this "legalized" discrimination. Thank you fellow Lawrencian's for standing up to this! As Christians we are suppose to love everyone, including those we see as enemies. Let God judge folks, that is his job, not ours. It's never ok to treat someone with disrespect. I also would never spend a penny at a business who supports this. LJW, can you get us a copy of the flier so we can see which businesses signed on to support this?

Paul R Getto 7 years ago

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." ===Ironic, isn't it? A quote from the great soul himself, Mahatma Gandhi.

LWJC 7 years ago

"While we do not support unjust discrimination for persons choosing LGBT lifestyle, we do believe the tradition of natural law must be respected and remain the order." NATURAL law? Who are these people who think they have the authority to call other people UNNATURAL? I greatly dislike when people that call themselves Christians misuse the name of Christ to discriminate. He is all about LOVE.

geekin_topekan 7 years ago

Gender Identity?

So girls in pink and guys who prance about playing Ninja Guy are not to be trusted?

somedude20 7 years ago

Maybe these jagaloons could spend time to find out if there really is a "God" rather than talk for him. I find it funny that people who profess love for their brothers and sisters have so much hate built up in them and really do more harm to the bros and sis than good. If "God" wants to be heard or seen he will do so as he has magicial powers. Jesus is magcial

kernal 7 years ago

This group sounds like a spinoff of the Phelps cult.

Would be very interesting to know who these so called business leaders are. It's not too hard to figure out some of the churches.

kuhusker 7 years ago

Greg Cromer is the gentleman organizing this event. These are public profiles, available to anyone on the Internet (there is no private info here)



And his company, American Real Estate and Invetments:

Sherry Warren 7 years ago

Thanks KUhusker, you beat me to it. Good work! Now let's find out who the others are :)

Joseph Jarvis 7 years ago

"The meeting is sponsored by Voice of Reason . . ."

What is "Voice of Reason?" They're not incorporated in Kansas. I haven't found anything via Google. Anyone know?

MarleneB 7 years ago

Naming this group "Voice of Reason" is as much of an oxymoron as Falwell's old hate group Moral majority.

tolawdjk 7 years ago

I heard dogs and cats were living together in Manhatten.

Did you hear me? Dogs AND cats.

Living together.

It just ain't right.

It's like seeing a sheep farmer in cattle country. Why do they have to buck tradition like that? Sure, its his land, and far be it from me to tell a fellow American what he can or cannot do on his property, but does he have to flaunt it like that in public?

For Pete's sake, put a fence up! Or keep em in pasture away from teh main highway! Kids ride the bus to school on that road! I'm dreading next year when my lil Sally will be on that bus. I just know she's going to be coming home one day from school and I'll have to explain what those short little white fuzzy animals are and try to make her understand why the JimBobs have them in their pasture land.

And then there is the inevitable sheering day! No grown man should have to explain to a young impressionable child why another grown man would need or want to do that to another of God's creatures.

Ranches is for cattle! Farms is for wheat or corn if you have the water! It was good enogh for my grandpappy, and its good enough for me. Sure, his grandpappy raised taters in the old country, but they weren't civilized and modernized like we are here. I suppose you can raise some of them new fangled "soy"beans that the hippies in California eat, but I wouldn't dedicate more than a 1/4 section to them.

There, I have said my peace.

Sherry Warren 7 years ago

Cromer owns American Real Estate and Investments in Lawrence.

BJ Adema 7 years ago

Shouldn't we post another list here: the names and businesses of those against supporters of voice of reason, then those businesses can lose revenue as well; after all, fair is fair, right?

Paul Decelles 7 years ago

I always cringe when I see these groups make reference to natural law. Of course they don't mean natural law in quite the same way science does today.

Don Whiteley 7 years ago

What's good for the gander is good for the goose. If this passes, it means every "women only" workout facility in our city MUST now admit men. You can't simply say men-oritented business cannot exclude women without also saying that women-oriented business cannot exclude men.

Smarmy_Schoolmarm 7 years ago

You've repeated yourself. Where have you been denied entrance to a "women only" facility? It's already illegal to disallow anyone based on gender.

melott 7 years ago

So, as I read their website, American Real Estate and Investments own The Malls (23rd and Lousiana) and Westridge (6th and Kasold) shopping centers.

earline james 7 years ago

That's BOTH of the Westlakes Hardware stores! Bummer.

Emily Hadley 7 years ago

I prefer Cottin's and Ernst to Westlake any day, and I'm pretty sure they don't give a damn about our genitalia.

Bingoj1 7 years ago

I consider myself to be a Christian but would never support what those oragnizing the meeting are attempting to do. I don't try to cram my choices down anyone's throat and leave the judging to who it belongs to, God. Churches (as I understand them) are (at least in theory) suppose to welcome and love everyone. Maybe they should try reading their Bibles at this meeting instead because it appears theirs may be missing a few chapters or something! We are to hate sin but not the people. Whether transgender, homosexuality, etc. constitutes a sin is a personal decision and no one should have the right to force their beliefs on others. I would like for this group to show me the Bible passage that says it's OK to legally discriminate against a Bible doesn't have that page.

Daniel Waters 7 years ago

I can appreciate the grace you are showing but I don't think this group is saying grab your pitch forks and run the LGBT group out of town. They are simply opposing legislation that condones this stuff. Read Romans 1:18 -32 and also 1 Corinithians 6:9-20. The bible makes it pretty clear that sexually immorality is sin.
There's nothing wrong with these people standing up and opposing laws that don't reflect their worldview. It's the same thing that every group does but somehow when a Chirstian group does it their told to just quiet down, go back to your little church, and stop judging. God said to judge with righteous judgement and be ready because you're going to be judged with the same measure you judge by. So that means we need to judge by God's law and if we don't uphold his laws and teachings then be ready for the judgement that gets layed out on us.

frankwiles 7 years ago

"They are simply opposing legislation that condones this stuff." which is also known as "discrimination".

godlovesmedespiteme 7 years ago

From my reading of the Bible, including instructions from Jesus, Sexual immorality also includes "divorce". Does anyone know if Voice of Reason also want to prohibit divorce by city ordinance?

BigPrune 7 years ago

Okay, so ALL you people on here think it is okay that a grown man can take a shower with little girls in the Freestate swimming pool locker room if he claims he has a gender identity issue and the City of Lawrence will defend this right - if the ordinance is passed?

THAT sounds pretty nuts to me.

BigPrune 7 years ago

Actually surprised the reporter forgot to mention that if the ordinance is passed.

MarleneB 7 years ago

As is typical, a know-nothing fearmonger spews bile about something he knows nothing about!

You, sweetie are a fool and a twit if you think of using that tired old excuse to justify your hate and bigotry!

Just to let you know, darling boy, there have been NO examples of transwomen harming or molesting anyone in a public shower, let alone one who allows herself so go in one in the perverted scenario you luridly give.

BigPrune 7 years ago

You just don't get it. A guy, any guy, could claim he had a gender identity issue (true or not true) if they wanted to take a shower in the girls locker room at Freestate High, and the City would defend his right if the ordinance were passed. How could anyone prove he didn't have a gender identity issue, even if he was lying?

geekin_topekan 7 years ago

But they let any repug senator or Catholic priest into the boys room.

Historically, which is at greater risk?

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

I have to agree with MarleneB. BigPrune, you are a twit. It just sounded right and I'm not sure if I've violated my own no name calling policy.

Smarmy_Schoolmarm 7 years ago

If "he" is trans-gendered then "he" is no longer a man and your sad, wee fantasy would be about a grown woman taking a shower with little girls. Not nearly as much fun for you is it Pruno?

deec 7 years ago

That might be kind of harsh. The businesses renting space there might not support what their landlord does.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

But Pet World has such a great program for kids, Junior Volunteers.

DeMontfort 7 years ago

Cottin's Hardware...a much better choice. Although I do agree with what deec said below re: tenants and their landlords.

Christine Anderson 7 years ago

Sigh. Why can't we just let God be the judge, and stop trying to do His job for Him?

jimmyjms 7 years ago

Could someone remind me what Jesus said about homosexuality?

Joseph Jarvis 7 years ago

The "preoccupation" seems to be society's. LGBT activists would hardly exist but for the unequal treatment.

Boston_Corbett 7 years ago

"Turmoil" in Manhattan.

How funny.

Jay Keffer 7 years ago

The quarrel most of you have is with God and his Word. The Bible clearly teaches homosexuality is wrong, amongst many other sins such as fornication. The Bible teaches us to love the sinner, and hate the sin. Which most Christians do, with the exclusion of the wack jobs, such as the dude from Topeka.

And many of you will rip this verse out of context: Judge not lest ye be judged. Research the true meaning of this as it was written before you quote it.

God set forth his laws to protect us, knowing sin would separate us from Him and cause us anguish and strife. Yet we are free to make such choices. And reap the consequences.

So make your own, informed choices. You can stand up for your principles; don't be surprised when others stand up for theirs.

And also don't doubt that your views will win the day. It has already been declared, and the roadmap set in place. A few speed bumps along the way, but mankind’s choices will be implemented. The ultimate outcome, however, has already been declared, and will not be overcome.

P.S. For those that will bombard and taunt me via email for a response to theirs (you know who you are), I will not be back to this site until the weekend - so sit tight.

deec 7 years ago

  1. So why do these so-called Christians only obsess about homosexuality and not all the other sins in that Leviticus laundry list?
  2. As someone else posted, what did Jesus say about homosexuality? Nothing.
  3. Unless you read Greek and Hebrew, you do not know what the actual "meaning" was, either (although the chapter and verse seems pretty clear to me). The modern bible is rather like that children's game of telephone, and was assembled by committee.

booyalab 7 years ago

Dear progressives,

Just because a policy has good intentions, doesn't make it a good policy, and just because someone disagrees with a policy with good intentions that doesn't make them a bad person.

Sincerely, a concerned libertarian

pace 7 years ago

I wonder where the information that several business leaders and chuches were part of the group opposing the inclusion, came from. Was it a real group, was it possibly a guy imagining that such a group would exist after this meeting. How many people attended the meeting. I don't oppose someone speaking their opinion on the subject, But there is something in this story that seems staged.

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