Archive for Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lawrence residents on both sides of adding gender identity to anti-discrimination policy speak out

April 7, 2011

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Members of the Lawrence community voiced their opinions even before the 7 p.m. start of a meeting Wednesday to discuss a possible amendment to the city’s anti-discrimination policy.

Residents Charles McVey and Dominic Klumpe sat outside Christ Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church, 2312 Harvard Road. Each held a sign in protest of a group of Lawrence business leaders and churches who say they are opposed to the suggested inclusion of gender identity.

“I don’t want these kinds of attitudes being expressed in my community or prevailing in my community,” McVey said. “They’re free to their own opinions, but if they’re going to start messing with the law, well, that’s everybody’s business then.”

The conversation continued inside the church, where members representing groups comprising Voice of Reason addressed the more than 50 residents in attendance. Groups included Awaken Manhattan, the Alliance Defense Fund, Concerned Women for America and Kansas Family Policy Council. Several of the groups also opposed the anti-discrimination ordinance, which is now in place in Manhattan.

The Manhattan ordinance protects people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in housing, public accommodations and employment. Lawrence’s ordinance currently includes sexual orientation but not gender identity.

Daniel Blomberg, who represented the ADF, fielded the majority of the questions asked by concerned and interested residents. He said if gender identity were to pass in Lawrence, several privacy issues could come into play.

“My focus is constitutional law and religious liberty,” Blomberg said. “At the end of the day, sometimes religious liberty is bad for business, it is, and it’s still the right thing to do.”

The meeting lasted more than two hours and closed with a question-and-answer session, which brought some in attendance to shouting. Passionate messages were delivered by people on both sides of the issue.

Katherine Pryor, who serves on a task force dealing with local LGBT issues, said she entered the meeting with an open mind.

“I came here thinking I would get angry from their point of view. My point was to learn the other side,” Pryor said. “I would love to see us have a session where everyone comes together. I’d like to keep talking about it.”

Greg Cromer, who helped organize Wednesday’s event, said the turnout and people’s willingness to discuss the issue was a positive step.

“In the end, there’s probably going to have to be some kind of compromise,” Cromer said. “We’re all human beings. There’s differences in world views. People are different, so we have to respect that. Both sides have to respect that.”

Comments

DeMontfort 5 years, 1 month ago

Come on...WHO are the local businesses that are haters? Do some investigative reporting.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Why do you assert that they are haters? Being opposed to certain things does not mean that one is a hater.

locomotivebreath1901 5 years, 1 month ago

Petulant children often say nasty things when denied what they desire.

ThomasWitt 5 years, 1 month ago

The groups organizing this event are the same radical-right social issue groups that turn up everywhere. They're not businesses, and they're not even local.

kuhusker 5 years, 1 month ago

My research was unable to find a single local Lawrence business or business leader who supports this group, other then the organizer himself, Greg Cromer.

Jeff Barclay 5 years, 1 month ago

Katherine Pryor's comment, as does Greg Cromer's, make common sense. Let's be reasonable and rational. Let's listen and not shout. Is a sensible compromise possible? Remains to be seen. The challenge for all of us is to be aware that one person's right to "free speech and free exercise under law" has to be balanced by when that person's "free speech and free exercise under law" violates that of another. To my knowledge the city office that used to be tasked with investigating sexual discrimination had never had a complaint to investigate. That office was actually closed because of budget restraints and very few discrimination complaints of any kind to investigate.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Show me some examples of businesses hiring transgender employees.

And, if it's not an issue, why oppose the protections?

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Because the protections don't just protect, but actually single out one group of people and gives them extra protection. But again, if there is no real discrimination, why even bring this up?

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Right.

The reason it's an issue is because there is discrimination.

When there is found to be discrimination against a certain group of people, legislation is passed to prevent it.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

There is no such thing as absolute equality for all people at all times and in all ways. There is no such thing as freedom in all areas for all people at all times and in all ways. Some think that you should force a straight person to hire a homosexual, but does that mean that a homosexual must hire a straight person? A straight person cannot turn away a homosexual to live in an apartment, but does that mean that a homosexual person must not turn away a straight person? No, it does not. So the law which is said to prevent discrimination actually just enables it.

hujiko 5 years, 1 month ago

You're pathetic. You're basically saying that homosexuals want these laws passed so they may disenfranchise straight people. Oi vey are you delusional. Do you happen to oppose allowing gays to adopt for fear that they will raise gay children? I want to hear all of your fallacious arguments, but let me get some popcorn first.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

The Constitution gives every person the same rights. If you want special laws passed in your favor, then there are reasons for that. Lawsuits are one way that people manipulate the system. While you think it is delusional to think that gay people will raise gay children, I would say that it is at least to be involved in self-deception to deny that totally. Children do tend to take the views of their parents, and in many cases take the behavior as well. Homosexual activity is an activity.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Legislation which denies discrimination is legislation that protects the rights guaranteed to all.

That's the whole point.

hujiko 5 years, 1 month ago

Couldn't have said it better. It's like saying the civil rights act of 1968 gave MORE rights to minorities than the majority population. Simply not the case.

hujiko 5 years, 1 month ago

How? How did any minority group covered in the '68 act gain an advantage?

northtowngrl 5 years, 1 month ago

Then could you please explain to me why most gay men and women have heterosexual parents? If children imulating their parents were really the issue wouldn't there be no or at least far far fewer gay men and women?

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

I would be happy to give reasons for the belief that is in me. My statements above, as I recall, were not based on the belief that just being raised by homosexual parents would make homosexuals, but that would at least compromise their belief systems as well. While I did not say that as explicitly, that was one of the intents.

deec 5 years, 1 month ago

"While you think it is delusional to think that gay people will raise gay children, I would say that it is at least to be involved in self-deception to deny that totally. Children do tend to take the views of their parents, and in many cases take the behavior as well. Homosexual activity is an activity. " No, you pretty clearly seem to be saying that gay parents make gay children. Why are you obfuscating?

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

I am not obfuscating at all. Please read carefully.

DWilly 5 years, 1 month ago

First, you do realize that the law states that people should not be discriminated based on sexual orientation. The law DOES NOT say that people shouldn't discriminate against homosexuality specifically. So, to answer your first questions: Yes. If a homosexual person does not hire a straight person based solely in the fact that he/she is straight, then, yes, they would have a case in court. The same law that would protect the gay person from NOT being hired based on thier sexual orientation protects a straight person. How do you not understand that?

Second. Why do you think that asking not to be discriminated is a 'special right.' I can only assume that you also believe that there should be NO law protecting people from religious, racial, etc. discrimination. Am I right?

Third. I assume you believe being 'straight' is the natural order of things. If you believe that homosexual parents will most likely raise homosexual children. How do you explain straight parents with homosexual children exacly? That is, if the first people on earth were straight, then how did gay people come about. WHO exacly appeared on earth to 'compromise thier belief system' and make them homosexual.

If you could answer these questions in an actual logical, intelligent way, we will start taking you a bit more seriously.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

One can only recognize that another is using logic when one recognizes to some degree where the other person is coming from. In other words, logic can only operate as it is coming from a person's worldview or basis for thinking. If you think that all people must come from your worldview before they have actual logic, then you are not being logical at all.

It is also true that it is fine to make assumptions or deductions and use implications of the views of others, but don't attribute those to the person as if they actually believe those things. That is also not the most intelligent way to have a discussion.

In terms of your first point, I do understand what you are saying. But I also don't agree with it. If there is a general law that is against discrimination, then it should be worded to cover all involved rather than pointing out special interest groups. It should also state very specifically what the law does not include. But of course I do think that what is discrimination and what is not discrimination should be set out very carefully.

Now, on what basis do you think discrimination is wrong? On what basis do you think anything is wrong at all? Is there a standard of wrong? Where did that standard come from?

As to your second point, I am simply saying that if you are going to have laws against discrimination, then you need to be very careful as to how it is worded and cover all of it in one law that covers it all. But then again, the law does not really protect people.

Third point: Yes, I believe that God created man and woman and it is in that union that people become one flesh and that is the order He established. Again, please use logic here and don't just assume that I mean certain things. I did not say that homosexual parents will most likely raise homosexual children. However, they would certainly raise children to think that homosexual activity is not sin. Homsexual activity is sin and it came about because people were turned over to sin. So homosexual activity came as a result of human beings falling into sin. Please, take the words and look at them carefully.

foppa 5 years, 1 month ago

No, I understand that you are obviously not coming from the point of view that I come from (I was using my husband's account before. I apologize for the confusion). I am sorry if I made assumptions. I wanted to clarify exactly what you believe so I was trying to ask if the assumptions I made were true.

As it stands today, the law says this "the practice or policy against discrimination by person for reasons of race, sex, religion, color, national origin, age, ancestry, familial status, sexual orientation, or disability is a matter of concern to the city of lawrence..." Then the law defines sexual orientations as "heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality" (Section 10.102.26) It follows to say that "sexual orientation shall not mean conduct which is prohibited by law." The law does continue to explain what discrimination is, by the way, but it is too long for me to write here. So, as you can see. It is pretty clear in the law, by the definition of sexual orientation, that a homosexual person CAN'T discriminate against you for being heterosexual. "If there is a general law that is against discrimination, then it should be worded to cover all involved rather than pointing out special interest groups." Is this definition of sexual orientation not enough for you? How would you suggest it changes? Did you think that this definition only included homosexuality?

"A straight person cannot turn away a homosexual person to live in an apartment, but does that mean that a homosexual person must not turn away a straight person?" YES, it does. At least by law it does.

We agree on one thing! The law does not actually protect people. As in, there is still discrimination even after these laws are passed.

As far as the whole 'homosexuality is a sin' deal, we will never agree on that. But we don't have to. I am not going to argue with you on that point because we can both mention 10,000 different reason why it is and isn't a sin and we would get nowhere. However, I don't get why adding gender identity or sexual orientation is threatening to that belief. Or why fight to keep it out. Straight parents also raise children to believe that homosexual activity is not a sin. Actually, I would dare to say that most people who believe that homosexuality is not a sin were raised by straight parents.

If you ever go to a job interview and say your religious views (aka homosexuality is a sin) and the company does not hire you based on those. The law will protect you. Why prevent others from the same? It will not protect you against people thinking you are a tool but it also won't protect a homosexual person from people who think they are sinning either.

Sorry for this being long. I'm just curious and truly trying to understand your logic.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

FOPPA: As far as the whole 'homosexuality is a sin' deal, we will never agree on that. But we don't have to. I am not going to argue with you on that point because we can both mention 10,000 different reason why it is and isn't a sin and we would get nowhere. However, I don't get why adding gender identity or sexual orientation is threatening to that belief. Or why fight to keep it out.

RS: My basic issue with laws as a whole is that government is far too intrusive and controlling. Laws like this may seem to add freedom to a particular group of people, but on the other end they restrict the freedom of others. So, you were asking about my logic, at the heart that is probably it. These laws, while seeming to give freedom to some, actually takes away the freedoms of others. It is also an impossible situation to govern and control. The law states that certain things are wrong, but it adds the part about people being offended. That part should never be part in any law because anyone can claim to be offended.

It is actually quite easy to show that homosexual pracice is sin, but as for people receiving that is a different question. The issue has to do with the condition of the human heart and its receptivity to Divine truth and authority. Down deep people know that it is wrong, but they don't want to admit that.

Why is the sexual orientation and gender identity laws bad? Why fight against it? Because it is forcing a certain belief on the population as a whole and restricting the freedoms of many people. The gender identity law will be one that will confuse the whole issues and the freedom of schools, public institutions, and all public buildings as to bathrooms. At the heart of it are issues of what a male and female are and the privacy issues in bathrooms. It has to do with sports in schools and in city leagues.

You may call it fear or whatever you want, but the basic moral fabric of the nation is under attack and is going down. It happens city by city and state by state. As morality slides down, the foundation of the nation slides down as well. There is no such thing as absolute freedom for all people to do as they please. The attempt to enact legislation to do this will lead to anarchy and then totalitarianism.

The sexual orientation and gender identity laws are making inroads into constitutional beliefs. Why can't a person rent to the people they want to as freedom would suggest? Why can't a person hire according to what is best for the business as freedom would suggest? Why can't a business refuse to offer services that violate their consciences as freedom suggests? Why shouldn't parents and children be free to use bathrooms that are clearly designated for male and female? If it is wrong to sexually harass a woman or male or offend one or the other, then it is necessary to know what one is in order not to offend them. It is ludicrous to pass this law in a country that values freedom.

hujiko 5 years, 1 month ago

"Why is the sexual orientation and gender identity laws bad? Why fight against it? Because it is forcing a certain belief on the population as a whole and restricting the freedoms of many people."

Look in the mirror. You're saying that homosexuals are trying to assert an agenda on the entire country and limit the rights of straight people (or simply in this case, YOU). Under your system however, it is perfectly fine to assert your agenda on homosexuals. Homosexuals are not trying to gain an upper hand on anybody, they are only wishing to level the playing field. What exactly is wrong with fair and equal representation under law? For somebody who sure loves American values, you seem to neglect one of central tenets (Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness). Is it wrong for there to be differing views on Happiness? You are free to believe anything you wish so long as you DON'T impose it on anybody else, so in blocking this legislation you are imposing your standards of morality on the law. The reason why it is OK to pass this type of legislation is it prevents discrimination, and does NOT impose a specific morality. In regards to restricting freedoms of many people, these types of legislation EXPAND freedoms so they are more inclusive. You are the one marginalizing a large group of people.

Again, look in a mirror.

speak_up 5 years, 1 month ago

"It is actually quite easy to show that homosexual pracice is sin, but as for people receiving that is a different question. The issue has to do with the condition of the human heart and its receptivity to Divine truth and authority. Down deep people know that it is wrong, but they don't want to admit that." You said yourself earlier, " It is also true that it is fine to make assumptions or deductions and use implications of the views of others, but don't attribute those to the person as if they actually believe those things." How dare you assume to know what LGBT people believe deep down in their hearts? Or straight people for that matter? Your own religious beliefs do NOT constitute proof of anything. I identify as straight, but I believe, as my straight parents taught me, that I have no right to discriminate against others for ANY reason. To do so is wrong, what you would call sin. I will teach my kids the same, rather than allow some moldy old book to perpetuate hate hundreds of years later.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

The Bible is not a moldy old book as such. There is the living Word of God which cannot be I am not using it to perpetuate hatred at all. You have a mighty strange idea of what hatred is. Your view of what it means to discriminate is also strange. I am not advocating discrimination (whatever that may mean to you) at all. But for you to tell me that what I do is wrong, that makes me wonder what standard you use for calling anything wrong. Is it simply what you think or want? In that case you are your own standard.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

You mix up a lot of different things in your thinking.

The reason that people can't just do whatever they want is because our society is founded on a belief that we all have certain basic rights.

Thus, if we decide that renting an apartment is something that all qualified tenants should be able to do, then that's why the "freedom" of the landlord to discriminate is limited/prohibited.

Somebody can in fact hire according to what is best for the business, as long as they don't discriminate based on factors that are irrelevant.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Well, you might not be surprised that I think you are the one that is mixing up things. Where does the belief of our society come from? Is it founded in reality or is it some pie in the sky thing that has no basis in true rational thought? So you give up the rights of the landlord and impose the rights of a few on the landlord. Is that rights for all? It seems that you are forcing your beliefs on all.

Who is it that determines what factors are irrelevant? What is irrelevant for you and your view of the world may be very important to others. So, once again, you are willing to impose your views on the whole nation.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

The belief comes from our founding fathers and their thinking - you can make whatever judgment you like as to the validity of it.

The landlord's rights are not "given up" - their freedom is limited to a degree, as is your freedom to punch somebody in the face. Why is that? Because we want to protect everybody's rights - your right to swing your arm around is limited if the exercise of it injures me.

Those decisions are made by us as a society, but also by the interpretation of our constitution by the Supreme Court.

Again, I'm not trying to impose any views - you're the one who wants to do that. You, and anybody else, can believe whatever you want.

If you want to believe that homosexuality is a sin, go right ahead - I won't stop you. If you want to believe that women, Jews, blacks, etc. are inferior, go ahead.

However, if you are a landlord, I don't think you have the right to not rent to women, blacks, Jews, homosexuals, etc. just because of your beliefs.

This is a distinction that is often missed by believers, who seem to think their right to believe something gives them rights to deny others housing, employment, etc.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

You are trying to impose your views when you pass laws on everybody else in order for you view to be accepted. It is also not exactly the best way to argue when you seem to equate with beleving homosexuality is a sin with believeing that women and so on are inferior.

I do argue that it should be up to the landlord not to rent if they believe that a certain kind of person would harm their ability to rent other properties and for business people to attract customers with certain types of people. You can take that argument and run with it making up all sorts of analogies, but please leave it as it stands. Its applications are to all walks of life.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Again, you miss a vitally important distinction between views and behavior. Laws are about behavior.

I don't know why you don't like my examples - they're all examples of beliefs which I don't share, but believe that people have to right to believe them anyway.

Your second paragraph could easily apply to black folks, Jews and women, and in fact that argument was used to justify discriminating against them in the past.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

But again, discrimination is a very fluid term which can be used to bash virtually all people. Seeking justice for all is a much better term.

True enough that laws are about behavior in many cases, but they also include attitude in certain cases. It is the difference between 1st and 2nd degree murder. The Lawrence code thinks of harrassment as including the way you look at people. How do you define that? So again, behavior is also a matter of how people perceive it. In our modern climate simply screaming discrimination is thought of as a horrible claim.

But again, you have yet to show why discrimination or anything else is wrong in your point of view. Why is discrimination wrong? Why is anything wrong at all? Who gets to judge that?

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

I don't know why I have to say this over and over again, but...

Our society was founded on certain beliefs, including the equality of all.

Over the years, we have developed legislation based on that belief, in order to prevent certain people from being denied what we consider basic rights in our society.

If you don't like that basic belief, fine. That's your prerogative, based again on some of our founding principles.

But it follows quite logically from that belief that denying housing, employment, etc. to folks based simply on their race, gender, etc. is not something we want.

The murder example is flawed - if you don't murder somebody, but just think about doing so, it's not a crime.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

But again, discrimination is a very fluid term which can be used to bash virtually all people. Seeking justice for all is a much better term.

True enough that laws are about behavior in many cases, but they also include attitude in certain cases. It is the difference between 1st and 2nd degree murder. The Lawrence code thinks of harrassment as including the way you look at people. How do you define that? So again, behavior is also a matter of how people perceive it. In our modern climate simply screaming discrimination is thought of as a horrible claim.

But again, you have yet to show why discrimination or anything else is wrong in your point of view. Why is discrimination wrong? Why is anything wrong at all? Who gets to judge that?

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Well, we have reached an impasse, wherein we're just continuing to say the same things over and over again.

I didn't say it was "wrong" in some absolute sense, I said it was something we have decided as a society that we don't want, based on certain basic principles we were founded upon.

By the way, it's not at all true what you say about discrimination - one must prove it, one cannot simply assert it.

What's your version that would be better? On the one hand, you claim to be for "justice for all", on the other, you question why discrimination is wrong.

hujiko 5 years, 1 month ago

Hear Hear! Everybody please listen to the poor disenfranchised white land owning christian males. They have been oppressed ever since Lincoln freed the slaves! O woe is me ever since Susan B Anthony!

Go back to your hole, Jim Crow.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

This was nothing but a rant apart from true rational thinking that had nothing to do with the point offered.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

We live in a society which believes in certain basic rights.

Those rights are guaranteed to all Americans.

That's the idea, at least.

MarleneB 5 years, 1 month ago

There are stories all across the country, KR... because of the rampant bias against us, the unemployment rate nationwide is well over the national average, and surpasses even the rate for blacks.

It's because of this there are thousands who're forced to work either in part-time jobs and/or in the underground economy as sex workers or under the table somewhere.

The reason why you don't hear of it is because it's not reported by the victim, as it's not a category protected by state or federal agencies.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Where are those stories? I have read that homosexual groups are highly educated and are quite a bit above average in income. Since it is not reported, perhaps the stories you are reporting are not highly accurate.

ZoeB 5 years, 1 month ago

RichardS - have you heard of the Transgender Day of Remembrance? No? It's not been reported? Try using Google. It's the day we commemorate our dead. Those of us killed over the past year, not for what we've done, but what we are.

Another good phrase to search for is "Injustice at Every Turn". That's the latest survey of over 6,500 Trans people in the US, and shows a stark reality:

* Respondents were nearly four times more likely to live in extreme poverty, with household income of less than $10,000.
* Respondents were twice as likely to be unemployed compared to the population as a whole. Half of those surveyed reported experiencing harassment or other mistreatment in the workplace, and one in four were fired because of their gender identity or expression.
* While discrimination was pervasive for the entire sample, it was particularly pronounced for people of color. African-American transgender respondents fared far worse than all others in many areas studied.
* Housing discrimination was also common. 19% reported being refused a home or apartment and 11% reported being evicted because of their gender identity or expression. One in five respondents experienced homelessness because of their gender identity or expression.
* An astonishing 41% of respondents reported attempting suicide, compared to only 1.6% of the general population.
* Discrimination in health care and poor health outcomes were frequently experienced by respondents. 19% reported being refused care due to bias against transgender or gender-nonconforming people, with this figure even higher for respondents of color.

The problem is so bad that the murder of yet another trans woman is as newsworthy as "dog bites man".

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

It is true that those numbers reflect something gone wrong. It is sad if it is true that the murder of a woman (trans or not) is as newsworthy as "dog bites man." However, trying to identify a specific cause of those things will be a lot harder. Again, for the sake of argument, taking your numbers as facts, there is no cause assigned. The fact that any person is fired that identifies with the transgender issue does not mean that it was simply because of a problem with the employer.

Why is there such a high suicide rate? Is that really the fault of society and is that something that a new law will help? The numbers you give reflect a real problem, but I would simply suggest to you that a new law is not going to help those things at all.

ailecia 5 years, 1 month ago

My transgender ex-boyfriend received daily harassment on the job over his gender. Sure, most of his coworkers were fine many even really supporting of his gender change, but he had one coworker threatening him on the daily, he later threw him up against a wall and threatened to punch him for using the men's room. At this point my boyfriend, with a FULL BEARD, would've probably been discouraged from using the women's room. What was he to do? Where would you like him to pee? His employers had nobody to turn to for advice on how to best advocate for him. Instead the harassment continued and my boyfriend eventually felt forced to walk away from a good job.

How is it that Manhattan, KS and Wichita, KS have transgender protection before Lawrence? Liberal college town, my ass.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

What the man did to your boyfriend (threatening, throw against the wall)was already against the law. What would another law do to protect against this?

stickeericketts 5 years, 1 month ago

If the aggressor was in a position of authority or if a supervisor were to "side" with the aggressor for whatever reason (don't even pretend like cronyism isn't alive and well everywhere), her boyfriend would have absolutely no choice but to leave his job or face additional harassment.

I guess it's hard for a lot of people who "chose" their (likely) heterosexual WASP lifestyles to understand why a law would need to protect an oppressed portion of the population.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

If the agressor and the supervisor would lie to circumvent the law then, what would a new law change about that? Why do you think that homosexuals are oppressed?

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

If they can be denied housing, employment, etc. based on their homosexuality, then that would be oppression, and discrimination.

Why do you think they're not?

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Where is this being done in Lawrence when homosexuality is the one and only reason for denying a person housing and employment? An accusation of it is not the same as it actually being done. Is it oppression if a homosexual person denies these things to a straight person or is it simply preference at that point?

kuhusker 5 years, 1 month ago

It goes both ways. If a gay person denied a straight person housing due to them being straight, it violates the law, and is wrong.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

So do we really need a new law that is broader to give rights to homosexuals in these areas where in fact the present laws already cover them? Do you equate right and wrong with the law? If so, what makes a law right and wrong?

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

The inclusion is of gender identity.

But, straight people wouldn't be protected from discrimination without a law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual preference.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

All human beings are human beings whether straight or homsexual. All human beings are human beings whether they are confused about their gender or not. A law that covers human beings covers all human beings.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Missing the point again.

Without a law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual preference in housing, straight people could be denied housing based on their sexuality.

We don't have laws saying that everybody should be approved as tenants, because there are certain reasonable reasons not to do that - see below.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

So all are covered equally under the law. So what is the problem?

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Without the law, they wouldn't be.

And, the law doesn't include gender identity.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Why should it? All human beings are included under the law. Why specify which ones should received special treatment?

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

All are not included under the law (which I wager you would have opposed when enacted).

That's why it's an issue.

And, again, it's not "special treatment" - it's the ability to work and live without being discriminated against.

Assume for a moment that the law hadn't been passed, and you're a Christian. People don't like Christians, and so they won't hire you or rent to you because you are one. That ok with you?

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

There's the rub - you think that protecting people from being discriminated against is "special treatment" - I think it's simply protecting basic rights that we believe in.

By the way, historically, the reason certain groups are specified is that they have been the victims of discrimination. That's why, even though it covers you, you tend to think of race, gender, religion, etc. as referring to non-white, women, non-Christians, etc.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years, 1 month ago

This ordinance would HELP protect people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in housing, public accommodations and employment. Why do you care about it?

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

But does it go beyond those things or allow people to stretch the law beyond those things? The public accommodations is very troubling to those of us with a sense of public modesty. There is a difference between male and females and to provide for proper training of children that must be taught to them. The public accommodations seems to be something that would strip all of that away.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years, 1 month ago

"public modesty"??? "proper training"??? "must be taught"??? Oh... It offends thee and thine... Does it impinge upon your right to see the world as you believe it should be, according to your religious beliefs? I don't think any of us have that right, I'm afraid. Sorry.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

So you want your rights to impinge on others but want to deny the rights of others. I get it.

hujiko 5 years, 1 month ago

No rights are going to impinge on others. Although right now yours are.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Upon more thought, I thought I would give your response another reply as well. Let me be very clear that each and every one of us have religious beliefs. The issue has to do with which ones are right and reflect reality. In other words, it is not that it is just about my beliefs, it is about reality. The reality of the situation is that there is on God and all do answer to Him every day and someday will answer in a different and undeniable way. It is not just about my beliefs, it is about reality and it is about God. No one has the right to sin against God, though it may be a civil right. To put it a bit differently, God has all rights over us and we have no right to impinge on His rights.

speak_up 5 years, 1 month ago

That's it! He's afraid someone's gonna see his "privates." Don't flatter yourself, Dick.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Well, at least your are not pretending to be civil, rational, or spiritual. Just being rather vulgar.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

To be fair, the issue of public restrooms hasn't been adequately addressed, I'd say.

But, of course, he could use it as a "teaching moment" if it came up, and share his beliefs with his children about it at that time.

Janet FitzGerald 5 years, 1 month ago

A few years back, there was a member at an all-women gym that was a member. It was discovered (not sure how) that this person was/is a hermaphrodite. So, the owner wanted to rescind that membership. I don't know what happened in the end, but it was a big deal and everyone was talking about it at the time.

Paul Decelles 5 years, 1 month ago

@KRichards-

Here is a a whole study on this issue: transequality.org/Resources/NCTE_prelim_survey_econ.pdf

Granted this is not strictly a random survey but it at least gives a preliminary look at the transgender population:

Hope this helps you.

From the summary (and from my personal experience with transgender people in this area, not too surprising):

Double the rate of unemployment: Survey respondents experience unemployment at twice the rate of the population as a whole. ▪▪ Near universal harassment on the job: Ninety-seven percent (97%) of those surveyed reported experiencing harassment or mistreatment on the job. ▪▪ Significant losses of jobs and careers: Forty-seven percent (47%) had experienced an adverse job outcome, such as being fired, not hired or denied a promotion. ▪▪ High rates of poverty: Fifteen percent (15%) of transgender people in our sample lived on $10,000 per year or less–double the rate of the general population. ▪▪ Significant housing instability: Nineteen percent (19%) of our sample have been or are homeless, 11% have faced eviction and 26% were forced to seek temporary space

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Okay, let us for the sake of argument assume that your numbers are correct. However, it appears that someone is simply taking the numbers and drawing a conclusion from them. Perhaps a main problem is with the people themselves and their own struggles rather than with all the people around them. Within this particular community you have problems with alcohol, drugs, and so on. Perhaps those relate to the numbers listed above as well. Then if you count it harassment when bathroom issues in public places come into play, let us not stick our head in the sand and assume that the problem is simply due to other people all of the time.

It is fallen human nature to always blame other human beings or God rather than self. When there is a problem at work or in other settings, in virtually every case people are blaming others or trying to mitigate themselves in some way. It is far easier to blame others than to look at self. I have been to lectures given by transgendered people. They usually have to have extensive counseling and have many other struggles. Those things should be taken into account for why the numbers above are as they are.

oswaldorf 5 years, 1 month ago

what are your numbers from for the first paragraph? Those have been suggested as trends among the HOMOSEXUAL community, but is it also true for the TRANSGENDER community?

Again, two completely different things. Transgendered people can be of any sexual orientation.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

I was using the numbers from the post I was replying to.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps they have some of those issues because of the unequal treatment they experience daily in our society.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps, but there are other arguments that I find more compelling.

BigPrune 5 years, 1 month ago

did anyone bring up the toilet controversy, that would let men who "claimed" to be transgender or gender confused (even if they weren't) showering with little girls in a public women's locker room, and the City's attorneys defending this guy's right to shower with little girls, if the ordinance were passed?

"Sir, you can't be naked in the showers with these screaming girls!

Man: "Yes I can. I am gender confused, don't mind my erection. Go ahead and call a cop. They can't stop me."

...and I don't think anyone is trying to mess with the law except the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender community.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 1 month ago

I am guessing the answer is no. Why? Because in order to have a controversy you must first have a viable argument. What you insight is some sort of hysterical thought process. Anyone perverted enough to carry out your fantasy scenario is going to do so regardless of the law. This is not about sex, its about essential rights for all Americans.

I think the only thing controversial is your potential. Perhaps you should keep these thoughts in the home. Just a suggestion.

BigPrune 5 years, 1 month ago

you must be living in a dream world.

Now yesterday's comments that compared some people to Fred Phelps and used initmidation tactics wasn't a viable argument.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 1 month ago

OK. Suppose your fear is justified: Do you withhold essential rights to ALL because of the unfounded threat?

A jet could leave the airport and crash into that same girl's shower you speak of too. It could, it is not beyond the realm of possibilities either. But do you ground the entire aero-force because of it?

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

As I have been posting on this issue, there are jobs available off to the side. One of the jobs is for someone to clean women's restrooms while they are occupied. Would it be discrimination for them to deny me (as a male) that job because I am male?

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Interesting question.

I'd say that if the trait in question reasonably affects the job performance, and there are rational reasons for not hiring, then it's ok.

But I'd be interested in any cases people know about on the subject.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

This isn't really a case, but when I was in the army, in Germany, the civilian old women the army hired to clean our barracks would walk in and start cleaning while you were doing your business at a urinal as if you weren't even there.

Linda Endicott 5 years, 1 month ago

Wal-Mart has men who clean the restrooms on a daily basis...both the men's and women's restrooms...while they're cleaning it, they prop the door open and put up a sign saying it's being cleaned and to use a different restroom...

Seems to me that solves the problem nicely...it doesn't take THAT long to clean a bathroom...

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

You may not know this, but once you get out of backwater kansas, lots of places have unisex restrooms. I remember standing in line to get into one in a Tampa bar, wishing all the women would hurry up because I had to go. Wouldn't you know it, once I got into the door, there was a urinal they couldn't use with the grace I could, so I discriminated my way around the line and took care of business.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Backwater Kansas? Oh, please. Just because there are people here who do not agree with you does not make them backwater. In other words, disagreeing with you is not the standard for being backwater. But I suppose calling people names like that helps you to think of your position as superior to all us backwater folks with yellow teeth (the teeth that are left) and chaws of tobacco in our cheeks. However, try dealing with the position without calling names.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

Trust me, this state is backwater and nothing more. It isn't about superiority, it's about being tolerant of the choices other people make. Your yellow teeth don't make kansas a backwater, it's the selective intolerance of both the left and right wing that does.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

If intolerance is the standard for being backwater, then you are quite backwater. It sounds like you are quite intolerant of people you view as backwater. Every single individual in the world is intolerant of something, though in modern America it seems as if the most intolerant of all are those who accuse others of being intolerant because of conservative beliefs.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

Potentially offending someone with a descriptive word is far from being intolerant. If you find words intolerant, you are as inane as our resident leftists.

OTOH, be glad you aren't a leftist. I'm not nearly as nice to them as I'm being with you.

local_interest 5 years, 1 month ago

It was brought up, and immediately put down as an unfounded argument. But it does sound like you might need some therapy for your homophobia. Go back to your select passages of your bible and hand tight until the end of the world comes. Then drink the kool-aid.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

  1. Why do you think I am afraid of homosexuals?
  2. Why do you think therapy would help?
  3. Why do you think I am only using select passages of the Bible?

My answering for you: 1. Because I say homosexuality is sinful behavior 2. Because anyone who disagrees with you needs help 3. Because you only read select passages of the Bible and have ignored all the others ones taken in their own context.

It sounds to me like you are the one that has been drinking a lot of kool-aid.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

So that if you are not doing your job and get in trouble for it, you can sue. It is a way to bring pressure on others and cause fear.

Jellberlee 5 years, 1 month ago

I was at this meeting last night. I was only able to sit through the first two speakers because the ignorance in the arguments was thick. Now I'm pissed that I wasn't able to be there for the Q&A. I would hope that this could never gain any traction, especially in Lawrence.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

What you mean by the first two speakers being ignorant is that they did not agree with you. Sometimes a proud person always things that others who have not attained to his or her intellectual or moral superiority are ignorant. That itself is a sign of ignorance.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

What you mean by the first two speakers being ignorant is that they did not agree with you. Sometimes a proud person always things that others who have not attained to his or her intellectual or moral superiority are ignorant. That itself is a sign of ignorance.

Jellberlee 5 years, 1 month ago

No Richard that is not what I meant. I was using ignorance in this case as defined as "lack of knowledge". I feel that they were misinformed on many fronts. As I've seen others have said, I did go in there with the hopes of keeping my mind open. I went there under no "side", as an interested Lawrence community member to hear both sides. It wasn't until the argument of homosexuality being a "bad habit" to the likes of "drug addiction, smoking or alcoholism" that I took up issue. In no way do I feel that I'm intellectually or morally superior to anyone.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Surely you understand that there is no real evidence that people are forced to be homosexuals. If we simply make the distinction between attraction and activity it becomes obvious that the activity of homosexuality will then be viewed as acceptable or bad. If one views it as bad and as an activity that does not have to be engaged in, then it is analagous to smoking and things like that. A person can at least seem to be born with a horrible temper, but it is the activity that the anger is associated with that is wrong. So while it may have appeared that a speaker was ignorant, that speaker may have been communicating something that was and is perfectly rational.

kuhusker 5 years, 1 month ago

There's no real evidence that people are born being Christians, but your choice of religion is still protected by anti-discrimination laws.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

People are not born Christians and are protected by the Constitution and basic laws. People are also not born homosexuals and are protected by the Constitution and basic laws. Christians do not have special anti-discrimination laws and homosexuals should not have them either.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

So what would you suggest as a remedy for those who are being discriminated against?

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

First, they should look at themselves to be sure that they are being discriminated against. Just because a person is a homosexual and just because something happens that the person does not like does not mean that the person is being discriminated against. Second, see if any laws that cover all people are being broken. The more people want special laws the more confused it becomes for everybody.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

The problem is that of current laws not prohibiting discrimination based on certain factors.

Before the civil rights laws, blacks were discriminated against.

Before laws allowing women the right to vote, they didn't have that.

Etc.

There are a bunch of acceptable reasons to deny people jobs, housing, etc. For example, the people could not be qualified for the job, or they could have a poor credit history, bad references from a previous landlord, etc.

Over time, we have decided that race, gender, etc. are not valid reasons for doing this.

The question on the table is gender identity locally.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

It is also true that before the civil rights laws white folks, asians, and hispanics were discriminated against. The civil rights laws did nothing to help that out. I might add that since the civil rights laws there have been people of all races discriminated against. Before the civil rights laws many people of all races were murdered. After the civil rights laws many people of all races were murdered. Do you really think that a new law on the books is going to stop discrimination?

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Oh I see.

Well, people break laws all the time - why have any at all?

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Just simply noting that laws of this type are unlikely to do any real good. It will just clog the system with more lawsuits and investigations, but it will not stop anything.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years, 1 month ago

Lawsuits QUELL discrimination. They always have. Unless you assume that lawsuits are inherently bad, you have to admit that they reduce lawless behavior. Again... Why do you care? The system is "clogged" but do you really believe that this will be the straw that breaks the systems back? Ridiculous...

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

As a "poetically licensed axiom murderer," surely you could think through your words a little more before you type "ridiculous." How do you know that lawsuits actually quell discrimination? Could they actually make it worse because of the resentment and simply go underground and hide what is being done?

I did not say that this is the final straw that breaks the systems back. But our system is already burdened with far too many senseless torts and cannot bear more and more. Using the clogged analogy a bit, when a pipe is clogged that increases the pressure within the pipe such as a clogged artery. No, it is not ridiculous.

Why do I care? Because I care for true justice. If this law is passed it will increase injustice because of what it is and because of where it will lead.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years, 1 month ago

"Why do I care? Because I care..." Pure brilliance... "If this law is passed it will increase injustice because of what it is and because of where it will lead." Right... "because of what it is and where it will lead" Why didn't I think of that? Wow. Your inscrutable brilliance is burning a hole right through reality. There is no argument against your new and improved, holy reality.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

You might finish the sentence you were quoting. I care about true justice. This law is not about true justice and will lead to more and more injustice. You can use words dripping with sarcasm all you please, but that is not a good argument. It is nothing more than sarcasm.

oliveoyl 5 years, 1 month ago

Funny, "Because the Bible tells me so" isn't a good argument either.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

The Bible is the Word of God. It gives us the words and life of Christ who came to reveal God and the truth of God. While it may not settle things for you, nevertheless they are settled in reality. What God says does settle it as to truth, but not all receive it.

oliveoyl 5 years, 1 month ago

Let's not be naive, Richard. The Bible was written by man.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

It is naive to assume that the Bible was not written by human hands moved by the Spirit of the living God. Jesus said that He came as the truth of God to reveal the true God. He moved in certain people and they have given us the words of God. It is not naive to believe this at all, though I understand in the modern climate it is thought to be that. However, it could be that the modern climate is what is naive.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

"Before the civil rights laws, blacks were discriminated against."

Were they discriminated against after civil right laws were passed?

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

"Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin."

Each homosexual has a race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. It is covered.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

You missed the point.

Discrimination based on religion is illegal.

Hence Christians do have "special anti-discrimination rights".

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

I did not miss the point. A person's sexual orientation is not the same thing as a religion, though these days it makes one wonder. All homosexuals are covered under most if not all of the points listed. As far as I am concerned that aspect of the Civil Rights Act did nothing but speak in line with the Constitution when it spoke of humans or all men.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Again missing the point.

Without that law, you could have been discriminated against based on your religion.

You ask why people need "special protection" while failing to notice that you have it, and would miss it if you didn't.

foppa 5 years, 1 month ago

You are saying that homosexuals are already covered by other discrimination laws, so why have one specifically for them, right? Because it specifies that employers, etc. can't discriminate against them BECAUSE of sexual orientation. As in, if a person is ONLY being discriminated against because of being straight, then the religion and sex discrimination laws would not protect them.

Again, it appears that you are saying that there should be no anti-discrimination laws at all because we are all covered under 'humans.' The law then should be 'do not discriminate against all humans.' Right?

Most of all, if you believe that at the end of the day these laws don't do much. Why fight so hard to keep gender identity out? Perhaps it is because, as we establish earlier, you believe homosexual activity (your code word for homosexuality in general) is a sin. Unfortunately for you, your religion is not a measuring stick for what we want or laws to be. My religious beliefs aren't either.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

You are right in saying that I am basically against all of these discrimination laws and that we should stick with the Constitution. It covers, in its own language, "all men." I don't believe these laws really prevent discrimination in reality but instead it just makes people hide it more. If this law is put in it will not do any real good for what you ostensibly want it for and it will decrease the freedoms of the rest of society. By passing this law, which I think is one reason people want it, is that it will put a normalcy on certain behavior.

"Homosexual activity" is not code for sin, though indeed it is sin. It is simply easier to use that rather than talk about a homosexual as such. As to what is fortunate for me or not and my religion being the measuring stick or not, there continues to be some misunderstanding on that one as well. It is not my beliefs that are the standard, but God Himself is the standard. Whether or not this law is passed in Lawrence all are judged by the Law of God. That is true whether or not I want to believe it or not.

What this means is that I can try to reason and discuss things from a human perspective in a sense, but I also need to remind you that there is an eternal reality in and through it all. I cannot force you or anyone else to believe anything, but I also know that down deep the knowledge of God is present in all. All people either suppress it in different ways or they bow to it. Wisdom would suggest, however, that the God who brings nations up and casts them down should be considered in the laws of a nation or a city. Each person should deal with them as well.

hujiko 5 years, 1 month ago

"It is not my beliefs that are the standard, but God Himself is the standard. Whether or not this law is passed in Lawrence all are judged by the Law of God. That is true whether or not I want to believe it or not."

Actually, in America we have this nifty thing called a wall of separation which implies an impartial, objective, and secular government free of religious dogma. As for the Law of God being true, how do you explain the thousands of other confident religions besides your own? Are they too misguided like the homosexuals?

You really are quite delusional, and I'm not saying that because I am at odds with your beliefs, but because you seem to neglect the parts of the American Constitution that allow for you to even hold those beliefs.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

"Actually, in America we have this nifty thing called a wall of separation which implies an impartial, objective, and secular government free of religious dogma."

Actually, the law was intended to keep the state from controlling religion and not keep religion totally out of the public realm. That is not delusional in the slightest.

The thousands of other religions are explained much the same as homosexuality. They are the result of human beings following their own sinful hearts by suppressing the truth of God. In actuality there are only two forms of religion in the world. All religions but one line up and basically say that the eternal state of human souls is up to the choices and good works of human beings, or perhaps God simply accepts all. Christianity, on the other hand, says that salvation and eternal life are completely in the hands of a sovereign God. He saves by His grace alone through Jesus Christ alone or not at all. In other words, while there are thousands of names of religions, the non-Christian ones are in reality only one at the heart of them. Sad to say that many who go under the name of Christian lactually line up on the other side in terms of stated and acted upon beliefs.

hujiko 5 years, 1 month ago

"Actually, the law was intended to keep the state from controlling religion and not keep religion totally out of the public realm. That is not delusional in the slightest."

I have to disagree, you are entirely delusional.

If you were to ever read the Constitution, and more specifically the Bill of Rights, in that first part you might read something along the lines of "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", and if you were to comprehend that as the majority (and by that I mean everyone except you) you would understand that to mean that the state, and any respective religious affiliations are entirely separate entities, and should not under any circumstances become integrated. Simply put: it's a two way street.

Now stop cherry-picking your truths to circumvent reality.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof",

Does that say anything about the church not having a say in anything? No, it only says that Congress shall not make a law to establish religion or a law to prohibit the free exercise of it. I fail to see how a statement that backs up my statement is cherry-picking my truths to circumvent reality. Read it and let it speak what it actually says and not what you want it to say.

ZoeB 5 years, 1 month ago

Actually... yes they do. Discrimination on the basis of religion is forbidden.

Discrimination based on sexual orientation is not.

speak_up 5 years, 1 month ago

The arguement here is over a law regarding gender identity, NOT homosexuality (as several posters have attempted to point out to you. Your insistence discussing homosexuality shows your ignorance.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps, but there are other options as well. Please read carefully.

Emily Hadley 5 years, 1 month ago

Perverted old men with erections in public showers ogling young boys is no more acceptable than it would be with little girls. Doesn't it seem odd that this argument fixates on the malicious intentions of straight, male-identifying, adult men? Seems like all discrimination comes from one's own insecurities and denial. People viewed as androgynous are attacked and harrassed every day. I have been hit and violently grabbed simply because I had short hair and wear a B-cup bra, and was even told by one attacker that I walked like a man. EVERY time, the men felt justified by their mistake. I have a civic duty not to harm my fellow citizens, as do they. My genitalia, however, is nobody's business but my own.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

"My genitalia, however, is nobody's business but my own. "

But the cup size of your bra is now in the public domain. ;-)

Also:

"Perverted old men with erections in public showers ogling young boys is no more acceptable than it would be with little girls"

Why is the state of the "Perverted old men"'s sexual organ relevant in either case.?

"Seems like all discrimination comes from one's own insecurities and denial."

That is so true.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Liberty: "Why is the state of the "Perverted old men"'s sexual organ relevant in either case.?"

RS: Because his getting excited over little girls shows he is a pervert.

Liberty: "Seems like all discrimination comes from one's own insecurities and denial."

That is so true.

RS: Oh so false. Discrimination can be simply a word used to try to gain power or money. A person may in fact be standing on truth to do what you call "discrimination." Your calling these things discrimination may simply be a way of discriminating against the truth.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

"Because his getting excited over little girls shows he is a pervert"

I would think just ogling little girls or boys would be enough to make him a pervert regardless of what happens to his private parts. Opinions will vary I suppose..

"RS: Oh so false."

I said something by juxtaposing phrases and you completely missed.it.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps, but maybe you missed my point as well.

kuhusker 5 years, 1 month ago

It appears that all the speakers at this event were from out-of-town groups.

It also appears that there are basically no Lawrence residents or "business leaders" behind the "astroturf" (as opposed to grass-roots) group that sponsored the event.

The "Lawrence business leaders" are merely a single man, Mr. Greg Cromer, who runs a real estate company.

Out of town people imposing their backwards social views on Lawrence will not find fertile territory here. The Manhattan hate groups would have as much luck trying to turn all of Lawrence into KSU Wildcat fans. Be gone!

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Why do you call them "hate groups" as if they were terrorists or something like that? That is nothing but a dishonest ploy. Just because some group is against the morality of another group does not in and of itself make them haters. Personally, I am against adulterers, liars, and thieves to say nothing against murderers. I am all for laws that do not allow for those things and very much against laws that would give extra protection for them. But that does not mean that I hate them.

"Backward social views" is an interesting term. Why do you use that term? So far you have called these people "hate groups" and "backwards." In other words, they don't agree with you. It might behoove you to think about what true love and true hate really are. You might also consider that social forwardness may actually be forward in the spiral down.

kuhusker 5 years, 1 month ago

The flat earth people (yes, they really exist!) don't agree with me either on the issue of the shape of our planet. I have no hesitation in calling them backwards.

As far as the term "hate group" - I suppose it's a loaded term. I mean, it seems weird to me that a group was formed, ostensibly to deny a minority their equal rights. Is that hate? I don't know. But it certainly is, well....animus.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Flat earh people think of themselves as forward thinking. The group, as I understand it, did not form to deny anyone their equal rights. What they don't want (again, if I understand them) is for more rights given to a particular group and rights that could be pushed to drive the nation even farther in a backward direction. I cannot see how that is hate at all.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

"The flat earth people (yes, they really exist!) don't agree with me either on the issue of the shape of our planet. I have no hesitation in calling them backwards."

It's a good thing you haven't googled "time cube" and clicked on the first site listed.

BigPrune 5 years, 1 month ago

I know A LOT of business owners that support his views but they wish to remain under the radar, so they don't get publicly crucified by your people.

kuhusker 5 years, 1 month ago

I seriously doubt it.

Remember, Lawrence is pretty progressive. It was the only town in Kansas that voted IN FAVOR of same-sex marriage in 2005 - way out of step with the rest of the state! I expect the business people of Lawrence are a reflection of her citizenry in general, and the vast majority are opposed to your views.

I'm sure there's a few that are not - you won't get a 100% agreeing to anything anywhere on any issue, but obviously if they "came out of the closet" so to speak, most people in Lawrence would probably choose not to patronize them.

BigPrune 5 years, 1 month ago

Right, sure, whatever. You live in a dream world. The only way you rule is through your radical intimidation tactics. The same sex deal was from the City Commission.

" but obviously if they "came out of the closet" so to speak, most people in Lawrence would probably choose not to patronize them."

I wonder if your straight hating gay groups would be picketing out front, just like Phelps?

I bet money your straight hate groups would. So it stays behind the scenes, under the radar.

kuhusker 5 years, 1 month ago

Um, wrong. The 2005 vote on the statewide constitutional amendment about same-sex marriage was a vote of all the citizens of Kansas.

Statewide, same-sex marriage was voted down, but here in Lawrence, the citizens voted in favor of same-sex marriage!

So, it's pretty clear that the people of Lawrence are very progressive and pro-gay. Any business that is anti-gay would find itself in economic trouble pretty quickly - not due to some massive organized boycott, but rather simply because the people of Lawrence, on their own, would choose not to patronize such a place.

speak_up 5 years, 1 month ago

"Straight hating gay groups"?! Really? I am straight, and I would definately boycott any business owned by a person who opposes equal rights for all people. And I'm pretty sure I don't hate myself.

kuhusker 5 years, 1 month ago

The Canine-American community supports this legislation.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Are you discriminating against reptiles and felines in supporting this legislation?

oswaldorf 5 years, 1 month ago

I don't understand why some posters are behaving like homosexuality=transgenered. The two are nothing alike. There are straight and gay transgendered and transexual people.

This is not a law that is "special" for the transgendered, as I understand it, it is to simply include them in the umbrella with Christians, women, Asians, Jews and everyone else. They have been historically left out of anti-discrimination laws and are simply trying to get the same coverage as EVERYONE else. It's the same blanket.

kuhusker 5 years, 1 month ago

Sexual orientation and gender identity are of course separate - you are right - but the groups that demonize gay people also demonize the transgendered, lumping them together. The law should cover both sexual orientation and gender identity. Lawrence was ahead of the times in 1995 when sexual orientation was added, but is now behind the times in leaving gender identity out.

And in general, it is important to speak out for all minorities - you know the old saying, we must hang together or else we will hang separately.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Are you so sure that you are fighting people that demonize gay and transgendered people? What do you mean by "demonized" in this context? Why "should" there be a special law that covers these things? Do you want a special law against murdering homosexuals? You say the law is already against that? Do you need a special law to keep people from stealing from homosexuals? Oh, once again there are laws for all people that cover that. Maybe the laws that you really need are already in place and wanting special laws is really asking to be above and beyond the laws that are on others. Equality is a thing that goes in more than one direction.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Murder and theft are against the law currently.

Denying housing or employment to somebody based on their gender identity is not, and, again we wouldn't want a law saying that nobody could be denied housing or employment for any reason - that wouldn't make any sense.

The reason that we don't have laws prohibiting discrimination against white people, or men is that white men have occupied a privileged place in our society for quite a while.

I say that as a straight white male.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

You sound like a person that has read a lot of propaganda and has lived a rather protected life. I am a white male and I have been discriminated against several times by people of other races and women.

I have been denied assistance at businesses where the employees were of a different race and have been treated very rudely at others. I have had racial slurs screamed at me as I drove down the street and at various places. I was even denied a job once because the people were looking for people of a different race to fulfill the law. Let us not stick our head in the sand here. In a place where people are supposed to be free to be different, there will be differences.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Nope.

I don't read propaganda of any sort.

You're mixing up a bunch of different things there - being treated well as a customer, and being denied employment are quite different things.

There's no law saying that people have to be nice to each other. If you were denied a job based on your race, you might have a case, but you'd have to prove that was the reason.

Of course there are differences - what's your point?

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Just that white males are subject to many of the things you have brought up. I want a special law for me too.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Again, if you weren't hired because of your race, you're covered.

Can't be denied due to race covers white folks too.

Why do you miss that point over and over again?

Can't be denied due to sexual preference covers straight folks.

Can't be denied due to religion covers Christians.

Etc.

ferrislives 5 years, 1 month ago

So forcing a Christian homeowner, who truly believes that homosexuality is a mortal sin, to rent his/her property to a transgendered individual is progressive? This is America after all, and what right does anyone have to force a property owner's hand on something like this?

I think that the more the LGBT community tries to force their lifestyle on all Americans, regardless of the religion views of said Americans, the more they are going to meet resistance from a larger group of Americans. But that's just my point of view.

Believe me, I cannot stand discrimination, but there's got to be compromise with something like this. Maybe transgendered people could be added, and some folks could register with the city to say that for religious reasons, they cannot be a part of this type of law. I don't think most people in Lawrence would register, but it would cover those that feel strongly against it. I also know that it would open up a loophole, but it's better than nothing, right?

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Wow.

Where to start?

If you believe that black people are inferior, does that give you the right to not rent to them? Or Jews, women, etc.?

Believers often seem to conflate their freedom to believe what they wish with the freedom to discriminate against others because of that belief.

So, somebody believes that homosexuality is a mortal sin. Ok, that's their right. But, that doesn't give them the right to not rent to homosexuals just because they believe that.

The history of civil rights in this country is that we believe certain rights should not be infringed on for certain reasons, and that private property ownership or business ownership doesn't give people the right to infringe on those rights.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

But there is no good reason to conflate civil rights with the rights of homosexuals. Those are two different things. One has to do with race and the other has to do with sexual activity. There is a huge difference between not liking someone because of the skin color and then having a deep conviction that homosexual activity is sinful.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Then they would not be involved in homosexual activity.

oliveoyl 5 years, 1 month ago

As someone said yesterday...

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

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Ghandi was not a Christian and made no pretense to knowing Jesus. His dislike of Christianis demonstrated His dislike of Christ. That is putting it as nice as I can. If you dislike real Christians, then you cannot avoid the words of Jesus that you dislike Him. How a person views and treats true Christians is in some way how they view and treat Christ. Those who say that the love Jesus and not His true followers most likely have no idea of who the true Jesus is.

oliveoyl 5 years, 1 month ago

Who are the true Christians? The true Jesus?

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Well, nothing like answering a question that is impossible to answer in this medium. However, the true Jesus is very God of very God and He took human flesh to Himself in order to manifest the true God. True Christians are those who have received a new heart (not physical heart), have been born (spiritually) from above, and now have Jesus Christ (not His physical body) dwelling in them as their very life. As the Lord Jesus Christ He is absolute Lord of all and reigns in the hearts of His people. That is why it is impossible to love Jesus and hate His people at the same time.

At the end of time this Jesus is the One that every knee will bow before and confess Him as Lord to the glory of God the Father. Presently, what we see is the wrath of God being revealed each and every day. He punishes sin by hardening hearts and turning people over to more and more sin. Those who are blind don't see their sin as punishment, but it is. Christ is the only One who can deliver from the power and bondage of sin. He is life itself and so one must have Him as life to have eternal life.

True Christians are not those who mouth certain words or simply do nice things, but they are the ones who have Christ in their hearts and love Him and His people above all. They seek the true good of other people by pleading with them to turn from sin which will kill them and bring them to destruction. Anyway, just a short explanation.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

It is not about sexual activity, it is about sinful sexual activity. Sin is what God says it is and no one else. Deny all you want, down deep you know that is right.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Then it should be left to God to deal with.

Landlords have nothing to do with it.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

I don't think it's that much of a difference.

Germans had a "deep conviction" that Jews were inferior.

Look how that turned out.

You are free to have your convictions - that doesn't give you the right to discriminate against others based on those convictions.

Let's say the landlord also believes pre-marital sex is wrong and sinful - should they be able to make sure anybody they rent to isn't engaging in that? Or they believe that drinking is sinful. Or lying. Etc.

ferrislives 5 years, 1 month ago

And this view is why no progress will be made. To make it into a black and while issue (no pun intended) will solve nothing.

Like I said, I personally wouldn't have a problem with renting to anyone, as long as they had a good job and good references. But as long as this group attempts to force their views on other people, especially a group who's lifestyle is prohibited by some religions, they will meet resistance. I don't see what's wrong with that statement: it's a simple fact!

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

You are correct, as far as I understand it. The issue is not so much as the ability to live, but it is in trying to force all people to accept a certain behavior and view as right and good. Understand that those who don't like it when the viewpoints of others are forced on them should not force their viewpoints on others.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

I am not trying to force them to become straight, though they should at least turn from sinful activity. I will admit that I don't want the homosexual view to be thought of as acceptable in a moral sense. I am not denying the rights of anyone, but in opposing this I am standing for the rights of a different group. I am also declaring the rights of God over His creation whether people like that or not. When people bow to His rights over them, then they are truly free.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Again words put to my position that is not my position. The pursuit of justice is Christian while the pursuit of non-discrimination is not. My position does not deny justice to anyone, while your position does. I will not argue as you do that your failure to pursue justice for all is hate and oppression.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

So, it's clear - you'd like for people to view homosexuality the way you do.

You're the one who wants to mandate the correct way to view things.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Is wanting people to view things in accordance with truth in and of itself a mandate? No. Please think for a moment and realize that there is a difference between the two. It is your side that wants to mandate that everyone view things and do things as you want.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

"I don't want the homosexual view to be thought of as acceptable in a moral sense"

I, on the other hand, have said numerous times that you are free to view homosexuality in whatever way you like.

It is clear that you are the one who wants people to see things a certain way, not me.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

That's simply wrong.

Landlords, and anybody else, are free to view homosexuality in whatever manner they like.

There are some on the left who would try to change those views, just as there are many on the right who would do the same.

But laws like this don't mandate any viewpoint - they simply legislate behavior.

Did the civil rights legislation abolish racism? Of course not.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

They're not attempting to force their "views" on anybody.

Landlords are still free to view homosexuality as a sin.

What about folks who believe that playing cards is sinful - should they be able to not rent to people who play cards?

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Why not? After all, it is their property and they pay taxes on it. When the government mandates things like this it is stepping beyond the boundaries of a Democratic Republic that is supposed to abide by the Constitution.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Because, again, we are not a society founded on the idea of absolute freedom of property owners or businesses.

We are a society founded on the idea of certain guaranteed rights which all Americans have.

According to your logic, the civil rights act would never have been enacted (I was pretty sure you'd have been against it), and landlords could refuse to rent to black folks, etc., businesses could not hire or serve them, etc.

Sounds like you'd have been happier in the pre civil war South to me.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Actually, what the society was founded on is quite a bit different than what is going on now under the guise of political correctness. I still think that society is founded on a person's freedom to use their property as they wish.

I don't believe that the civil rights legislation should have been passed. A simple resolution affirming that the present laws applied to all men would have been sufficient rather than new laws applied. It might have taken more time, but in the long run it would have been far better.

As far as the pre-civil war South, you might remember that those who won the war wrote the books. The war was not really over slavery. Less than 20% of people in the South had slaves and the vast majority of them treated them very well. It was not uncommon for the children to play together and for white and black women to hug each other and socialize. Did this make slavery right? Not at all. But you do realize that those in the North had slaves and did not treat them as well as many in the South did.

Do you realize in Lincoln's Emmancipation Prolcamation that he did not free the slaves in the North? His own Secratary of State said that Lincoln proclaimed freedom for the slaves where he could not really free them and did not free them in the places where he could have.

So the North won the war and freed the slaves. Wouldn't it have been much better to have gone about that a different way rather than just turn them all loose without proper training and take them away for the only lives that they knew? Simply passing a law does not change the hearts of people, and when the laws trample on the rights of other people it only makes matters worse. So would I have been happier in the pre-civil war South? Perhaps. But not for the reasons that you seem to think. One could have worked hard at justice for all and worked for ways to free the slaves in a way that was better for everybody involved.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

You might ask yourself, in light of your quotes, why the Constitution of the Confederate States of America outlawed the importation of slaves from Africa. In a debate held in 1858 (with Dougals) Abraham Lincoln said this: "I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races--that I am not, nor evr have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifiying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the while and black races....I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position signed to the white race."

The issue was over states rights versus federal rule over the states. Indeed the issue of slavery was involved, that is beyond denial. However, don't think of Lincoln as truly wanting equality for all races under the law and that he was willing to fight for a true freedom for all races. He simply wanted to have the federal government have more power over the states and to keep some from leaving the union.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

I thought as much.

Of course, you'd leave women out with your version.

And, without the new laws, housing and employment would not be things that people have the right to without discrimination - that's why they were passed.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

There you go again with unfounded assertions ascribing motives to me. I am simply saying that the Constitution of the United States of America says that all men were created equal. The word "men" and "mankind" refer to all human beings. Why not just leave it at that? Why not seek to have a society seeking true justice for all rather than passing a bunch of laws that will lead to nothing but more and more lawsuits and more animosity?

"With justice and liberty for all" are great words that we were supposed to have learned. Why do we throw those aside and seek laws to ban discrimination based on what? By nature of the case discrimation based laws are virtually impossible to define with any degree of accuracy and will only lead to needless lawsuits and a lot of public and private expense. That is not justice and liberty for anyone, much less all.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Because historically the words men, etc. have been used to deny women and black people equality.

Are you really unaware of that?

Women weren't allowed to vote until the 20th century, black people were enslaved, etc.

If that hadn't been the case, there wouldn't have been any need for new laws, of course.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

And, again, we decide, as a society, over time, what we consider basic rights that all should have here.

So, at a certain point in our history, we decided that housing and employment are things that we want all Americans to be able to obtain if qualified, and not things we consider it ok to deny people based on race, gender, etc.

Mike Hatch 5 years, 1 month ago

No matter what your beliefs are regarding gay people or transgendered people, just keep one phrase running through your head: Separation of church and state.

There's a good reason why most things that are considered sins aren't against the law.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

If you keep the phrase "separation of church and state" running through your head, please take it into context. The intent was to keep the state from running and ruining the church as it had in England. But the intent was not to keep the church from having a voice in the state. The true Church is the salt and light of society. When the voice of the true Church is dismissed, there is virtually no preservative against sin and no light to show where it is. Society would then be in darkness in a deep spiral into a deeper darkness.

There is not a "good" "reason" why something that is sin has no law against it. Indeed people give reasons, but that is not the same things as a reason. People give persuasive reasons, but that is not the same thing as a "good" reason. Interesting that you used those words. There is no good apart from God and there is no reason or truth apart from Him either. Do you really want to separate your state (government of any kind) from goodness (morality) and truth? That is what is happening and the US is in trouble.

Mike Hatch 5 years, 1 month ago

Do you think someone should go to prison for cheating on their spouse?

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Well, as one who does not think that our prison system is a particularly just form of punishment, I would say no. Prison should be reserved for a crime like murder, but that would only be for those who found guilty but not in a clear enough way to be executed. However, there should be other forms of punishment. So, to be direct, adultery should be punished, though not in prison.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Biblically, that would be by stoning to death.

Except, oh yeah, Jesus said "I do not condemn you", and "He who is without sin cast the first stone".

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

He was speaking to a group of men who brought the woman to Him trying to trap Him into saying something against the Law. Isn't it interesting that they only brought the woman rather than both parties to the adultery? The power of the sword (authority to carry out punishment) is given to the government.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

The true and living God is not demonic and is not close to the Muslim conception of Him. You simply have a great dislike or even hatred for the true God. It was Jesus Himself who declared that there is one way, but it is such a glorious way that there is no need or room for another way. In fact, all other ways are at enmity to His way.

I am sure you are speaking with certain groups in mind, and possibly your words are true of certain groups. I am not sure what you mean by "Fundamentalist christians." But I can tell you that those who believe in the fundamentals of the truth as Jesus taught are not modern day Pharisees. You may see them that way, but that does not make it true. The cross in and of itself is not to be proclaimed or used as a weapon, but instead points to the glorious sacrifice that Christ made to the glory of God the Father. It also points so His sovereign rights over all of humanity.

The true God is not one that most people don't have a problem with, but instead is the God that they are at enmity with. The true God is not one that you choose to believe in or not, but is the One that all people believe in. The problem is that this God demands our all and so people exchange His glory for their own or for other things. They try to suppress this knowledge of Him through sin and other things. But down deep they know He exists and they are fighting against Him or they bow before Him.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 1 month ago

@DickS: "The true Church is the salt and light of society."

What if one is not a member of your "true church?" Are these people screwed or are they allowed to stick around under the tolerance of the "true church" much like Islamic states used to allow members of other faiths to pay taxes in order to survive? If one is not a member of your "true church" - a Jew, for example - is one devoid of goodness, morality and truth? If this is true, wouldn't it make sense to discriminate against these people in situations in which goodness, morality and truth are required like serving on a jury? Do you, DickS, believe that Jews are destined for hell?

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

The true Church is simply all those who have been born of God and are united to Jesus Christ. If you read carefully what I have written above you will notice that I have not said that peple are devoid of goodness, morality, and truth, but rather that they have no basis for it apart from the true God. So again, there is no basis for those things apart from God, or perhaps apart from God there is no standard for those things.

It makes no sense to seek other than true justice for any and all folks if one loves God and his or her neighbor. Seeking true justice is always higher than the discrimination idea. As to the last question, eternal life is only found in Jesus Christ who is eternal life Himself regardless of a person's ethnic background. Jesus as a Jew and so salvation is from the Jews in that sense.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 1 month ago

So - essentially - anyone who is not "born of God" or "united to Jesus Christ" have no basis for goodness, morality or truth apart from the "true Church" to which they do not belong and in which they do not believe? Does it not logically follow then that these people should be excluded from positions in which having a basis for goodness, morality and truth are essential?

At least you were semi-honest in your second answer, if careful to word it in a way that wouldn't offend. If I read your jargon correctly, you are suggesting that anyone other than a member of the "true Church" (i.e.: Jews, Muslims) will be burning in hell. Cool.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

I am simply asserting that there is no rational basis for truth or morality apart from God. But people are inconsistent with their positions at times, and so they still think they do. Since they are made in the image of God, they want truth and morality in some ways.

The doctrine of hell is quite misunderstood in the modern times and is used as a hammer to beat people over the head with. It is true that those who don't have Christ (who is eternal life Himself) will not have eternal life. It is true that the only other possible place for those who don't have Christ is the place where the wrath of God burns for eternity. It is the place where there is no love and no mercy for eternity. It is the place where all people who are there will burn with unfulfilled lusts of the mind and body. They will have in them the worm that never dies as they will be tormented with the thoughts of what they rejected and even mocked while on earth.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

You are, in fact, "simply asserting" a number of things.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

Conversely, some things which aren't sins are against the law.

kuhusker 5 years, 1 month ago

As an aside, it is kind of ironic that a group from Manhattan is trying to import their beliefs into Lawrence. They'd have better luck if they tried to make everyone in Lawrence into Kansas State Wildcat fans.

oswaldorf 5 years, 1 month ago

Do I have to abide by the salty Christian laws if I'm Buddhist? Do I just follow the non-salty Buddhist based laws, or no?

In all seriousness "civil rights" are NOT just race issues. Seriously.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

One of the issues that your statment brings out has to do with the Christian laws. True Christianity proclaims the one and true God. So if you are a Buddhist, you are clearly and obviously not a Christian. Now, historical Christianity is not just about following laws. It is all about Christ who saves sinners by grace and then lives in them so that they live by grace as well.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

If i was Christ, I'd save more people from being run over by buses so I'd have more people to live in.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Well, if only we had a blasphemy law that was enforcable. Maybe we could get that law passed in Lawrence, but it probably wouldn't stop anything, it would just mean it would be quieter. Hmmm, sounds a lot like gender laws.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

If we had some real blasphemy laws we could remove people's heads for not bowing to mecca five times a day.

Be careful what ye wish for lest ye loseth thine head.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

I was speaking with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek. I was trying to make a point. I think you missed it.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

I was being completely serious. Allah Akbar!

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps what you think of god is not great, but the one and true God (YAHWEH) who has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ is far greater than you can comprehend. This is the God that all people know is true because He has made Himself known in them. Sadly, they suppress that knowledge of Him and are turned over to all sorts of idols including themselves.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 1 month ago

Prove to me - empirically - that god exists. Please don't rely on nonsense like faith or the bible. I'd like scientific evidence. For example, can god microwave a burrito so hot that he cannot eat it?

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Prove to me, using your own empirical standards, that science or empirical methodology is/are the standard by which all things can or can not be proven? True faith is not nonsense (no sense) at all, but is rather a gift of God that He gives His children by which they behold His glory and receive all spiritual things. God is self-evident and without Him there would be nothing and no one. The human heart cries for meaning (though that is not empirical), and yet there can be no meaning apart from Him.

The human heart longs for love (whatever that is, I mean, it cannot be demonstrated empirically), yet there can be no real love apart from Him. Why do human beings use words like "right" and "wrong" and "should" and "ought" so much when there can be none of those things apart from God? How is it that human beings are so confident in their belief making capacities when they have no way of knowing if what they know is knowable? Apart from God creating us with a capacity for developing true beliefs could we ever really know that we know? So no truth, no meaning, and no morality apart from God. Seems that He is very self-evident.

The microwave and burrito bit? What God can do is provide sinners a place where they will see nothing but the awfulness of their sin for all eternity as they suffer His unmitigated wrath. He has no needs and so does not eat. He is completely self-existent and self-sufficient with no need of any human being at all. In other words, you should be very careful what you say about Him.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

I realized that I had touched on but did not deal with one aspect of your empirical point. Your desire to reduce everything to an empirical standing is not based on an empirical proof, but is a presupposition that you have. Has anyone ever devised an empirical study that shows that the only thing that can be proven must be proven empirically? is there an empirical study that shows that empirical scientific studies can show all that there is? You use non-empirical ways of arriving at the conclusion that everything must be proven in an empirical manner. That is not solid reasoning.

Back to the burrito. Since a burrito cannot be made hotter than hell, it will never be as hot as the God who is a consuming fire.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 1 month ago

You miss the point. I am not the one asserting that a mystical force rules over us. I am not the one asserting that the law of man should be based in whole or part on the belief system based on this mystical force. What you are doing, in effect, is asking everyone to believe in an unproven force or being and base their lives on the existence of this unproven force or being. I don't think it's surprising at all that people would ask for scientific evidence.

Regarding your question about proving or disproving things: not everything can be proven, obviously. Even things that have been "proven" are - depending on which philosopher you like - tentative and simply waiting to be discarded. However, most religious dogma doesn't even meet the basic standards of a theory and arguing for the existence of god based on faith is tautological in the extreme. There is - in short - no theory or empirical evidence that suggests your mystical force exists.

To the burrito question: you referenced hell. There is no evidence that suggests hell exists. Your response is based entirely on a chain of logic that is unworkable.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

I am not asking anyone to believe in an unproven force. I argue that all know who this God is and fight the knowledge of Him by suppressing the truth. One way of suppressing the truth of God and the knowledge of who Him is trying to claim that all things must pass some empirical test when even that empirical test cannot be empirically demonstrated.

The very fact that there is anything at all proves that God exist. The very fact that you are a rational being demonstrates that you were created by a Rational Being. The very fact that you use logic (wrong premisses and presuppositions, though) and grammar and are able to speak a language demonstrates that you were created by God. The very fact that a male and female can come together and have a baby that is engineered like that is demonstrative evidence that God exists. The very fact that you are constantly looking for proof is evidence that down deep you believe in Someone who holds all things together so that truth can be discovered. The very fact that you believe in ethics in some way is evidence that you were created with a sense of right and wrong. In reality, then, everything not just suggests that God exists, but in fact screams that He does.

Back to the burrito point. There certainly is evidence that hell exists. One, Jesus said that hell was real. He is Truth and spoke truth. Two, the very conscience of the soul gives us a sense of future punishment. Three, our souls cry out for justice in different ways, but still it is there. Where did that desire for justice come from when our self-love does not drown it out? It came from a perfectly just God. If there is no hell, then there is no justice in the universe. Our desire for justice is evidence of justice written on our hearts and that after we leave this mortal realm perfect justice will be carried out. Four, the great fear of death involves a fear of facing a perfectly holy and just God.

The very logic you use to say I have a chain of logic that is unworkable demonstrates that there is God who wove logic into the universe and our basic natures. Apart from God there would be no logic at all. So the fact that you use it demonstrates that down deep you know where it came from.

oswaldorf 5 years, 1 month ago

but you didn't answer my question? Do I have to follow the salt laws or not?

And Catholicism and Zen Buddhism can work together very nicely and it is done all over the world.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

Why would anyone discriminate against another person because the second person wanted to be a gender that didn't match the body they were born with? I don't even think something like that is in the bible. I've never seen "thou shalt not wish you were a woman" or the inverse.

OTOH, I can think of a examples where being transgendered would interfere with a person's ability to do a job, so exceptions would have to be allowed to any gender-identity-equality law.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Sure.

But that's true of other protected groups as well - if the trait is actually a hindrance to the job, then it isn't discrimination, I'd think.

Of course, we'd have to be a bit careful - people being uncomfortable might not be enough. For example, the white folks in a company being uncomfortable with black folks.

It's a bit of a grey area to me.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

I was thinking more in terms of physically male TSA agents that identifiy as female strip searching women at KCI. That would probably make most women uncomfortable, would hinder the agent's ability to do their job and open up the government to a lawsuit.

Oddly enough, I, being a male, would prefer to be strip searched by a woman. Go figure.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

In other words, you are a very intolerant person. I see.

MikaylaTrans 5 years, 1 month ago

RichardS, your ignorance is astounding. I am sure even your god would be taken aback by it.

First, you continually lean on your argument against homosexuality to justify arguments against transgenders. Read the article again...GENDER IDENTITY...not sexual orientation! Know the difference? No, didn't think so. Asking you...does being a man make you attracted to women (assuming you are hetero), or does being attracted to women make you a man? How do you even know you are heterosexual? For that matter, how do you know you are even a man? Uh oh, Richard cooked supper last night, women's work; obviously, he must be a she.

Then you go into this schpeel about the "true Church". Which church, the Christian Church? Which Christian Church, your christian church? How many denominations of Christianity are out there, 1,000 at least, no? And am I to believe your church is the "true Church." I am transgender, and MY Christian Church accepts me just the way I am.

Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ? Where in ALL the Bible does it say Jesus Christ condemned transgenders? Remember the story of the woman at the well? A Jewish Rabbi conversing with a woman, for shame. A Jewish Rabbi conversing with a SAMARITAN woman no less, for double shame. Jesus Christ did not cast out the "outsiders"; no, he welcomed them with loving arms.

But wait, does the bible even make reference to transgenders? Well, I suppose, kind of. It does mention Eunuchs, they are sort of transgender, no? Somewhere within that vast void between male and female. Ah...Acts 8:26-40, Philip baptizes an Ethiopian Eunuch. Wow! Transgenders in the church :O

Dear Richard, you aren't gonna like me for this one, you poor, poor white hetero male, with no anti-discrimination laws to protect you. Fear now, that the transgenders may be placed higher than you. Not by civil law. No, because of this big push to "separate state and the church." We must adhere to morality. Honor that which we know is of goodness and the truth, the Bible...

Isaiah 56:4-5; "For thus says the Lord: 'To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name BETTER than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name which shall not be cut off."

WOW!! God sure does have high regards for the transgendered faithful. Sure glad I don't hate people who may be different than me simply because I can't understand them. Oh, but I forgot. You don't hate them; you love them Richard; just as I love you. Uh huh :\

ZoeB 5 years, 1 month ago

Matthew 19:12 - "For there are some born Eunuchs of their mother's womb..."

In other words, "Eunuch" can be a congenital condition.

Now from "Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation" Garcia-Falgueras A, Swaab DF Endocr Dev. 2010;17:22-35

The fetal brain develops during the intrauterine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the first two months of pregnancy and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in extreme cases in trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.

Too many people "know" what "must" be in the Bible, so they never bother actually reading it.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Just as a reminder, only the first line of your post is from the Bible. It is not a good practice in trying to deal with what the words actually say and are limited to to broaden them to include wide groups of people. The word "transgender" covers a wide variety of people. Indeed the word "eunoch" in the Bible tells us things that are true of some transgendered people, but we must be very careful and not apply that to all.

But again, does the fact that the Bible speaks of some eunochs (some from birth and some because some were made that way to be better servants) mean that all that go under that name today fit in that category? People are born in many ways. But the basic issue on this thread still comes back to what is just to pass for laws. The basic eternal issue is whether a transgendered person or any other person has been born from above and has Christ as his or her life.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Well, I hope you have calmed down by now. I am not claiming that understand all the nuances of transgenders, but I go get some of the basic issues and have listened to lectures by transgender people. I also deny strongly that I hate transgender people.

First, the arguments about the laws regarding homosexuality and transgender people are usually going to be the same. When you try to apply laws that are specifically for a very few people, you are going to trample on the rights of a lot of people. It seems better to have simpler laws and treat all people as people rather than dissect each group up with a law for each one. That is not hatred for anyone.

The only true Church is the Church of Jesus Christ. The true Church must function and operate according to what He said rather than what people want it to be. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. In other words, God does not accept anyone for who they are. He only accepts people on the basis of Jesus Christ and Him alone. Those who come to Christ are those who repent of sin and of their rights over themselves. Those who truly come to Christ come to Him as their Lord and Master.

The transgender issue, as I understand it, is very nuanced and wide. So to state that one is transgender is to give very little information. However, to say that eunochs are the same thing as all transgender people is to go beyond the bounds of honesty. Eunochs were not transgender as such, but they were castrated in order to be better servants of their master. That did not make them non-male, it just made them castrated males. It would not be honest to say that because eunochs were part of the Church that all transgendered people are. End of part 1

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Part 2: Whether a person is transgender or homosexual or whatever the case the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a declaration of hope and of His rights over human souls. Many people try to say that Jesus accepts them and so they are okay, but that is not how it really is. Jesus Christ came to save sinners but also to save them from their sin. He saves people by delivering them from the power and bondage of sin. It is not from hatred for transgender people that I say this, but it is actually true love. True love is not a feeling that affirms people where they are at, but it is telling people of true hope and of what true love really is. It is hatred in reality, regardless of how nice and affirming people really are, to deny the true God and His teachings about eternity and righteousness.

Just because I am against all of these special laws does not mean that I hate you or anyone else. I would say that it seems that you have ran into people who call themselves Christian and you think that they hate you. I cannot deny that. But please be careful about imputing that on all people who go under the same name. But just to be clear on one issue. God does not accept people and adopt them as His children just because they are hurt or because they are transgender, but only because they truly have Jesus Christ. He alone can change the heart and He alone can make a person His child. I don't hate you, but rather my heart goes out to you.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Notice that I did not say that or mean that. You fixed nothing, but perhaps vented a little. The fact that I am against this law and many others that are already on the books does not mean that what you say here is true. What you mean by "discriminate" and "oppress" might also be arguable. Frankly, the passing of this law could certainly lead to far more discrimination and oppression than what may be happening now.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Do you want protection for everyone or for just one portion of society to have such laws passed as to make it hard for others to be free? That is what your position leads to. Deny it as you want, but you are not for the protection of 99% of society. So deny away, but it is still true.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Once again, interesting how people can tell me what I want, even when that is not what I want.

I never said that I only want protection for my portion of society, whatever that may be. I have said very clearly that I want justice for all. You can speak of rights (and you have the right to do so), but I want to be sure that justice is done on all sides. Discrimination is a word that is more or less thought of in the code of the City of Lawrence as a person who feels offended. That is not in accordance with justice and is not an objective treatment of it in any way. Harassment is said to happen when a person looks or leers at another? So if a person feels harassed because s/he thinks that a person looks at him or her in the wrong way is allowed to file a discrimination complaint?

Well, once again that is not justice. It is much better to seek justice rather than seek to stop all people being discriminated against or harrassed which can be defined (as the City of Lawrence does) as looking at a person the wrong way. "Discrimination" and "harassment" are such a broad word and covers so much territory that it ends up with injustice involved. I prefer to seek for justice.

The Christian is to seek justice and it is also in our Pledge of Allegiance.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

"Well, I hope you have calmed down by now. I am not claiming that understand all the nuances of transgenders"

There is nothing nuanced about it. Transgender people are born with the mental identity of one gender and the physical identity of the other gender. It is that simple. Anything else you graft onto the subject are merely your perceptions.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

There is far more to the issue than that. Physical identities are not always so clear. Mental identities is a whole other issue. It is more than just what a person thinks.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

Physical identities are utterly clear except in the ultra-rare case of true hermaphrodites.

Tell me, how is a person's mental identity more than just what they think?

Trying to make the issue look more complex to cover your condemnation of homosexuality in a thread about transgender persons isn't going to work.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Sigh. Nothing like people putting words onto my keyboard. While it is less work, it is also a lot less accurate. Physical identiites are not clear (by sight alone) in the case of true hermaphrodites or in the case of those who have taken hormones and have had surgeries. I don't think that is all that comples.

If you are simply referring to what a person thinks on a given day, then it is easy enough for a person to take on one identity one day and another the next. That is impossible to deal with.

I don't condemn homosexuals. Where have I condemned them? I am simply setting out the message that homosexual activity is a sin against God. I cannot condemn anyone, though I can warn others of God's condemnation.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

But how do you know what is right? Ah, doing what you want to do. You can continue to knock religion and all of that, but I would remind you that apart from God there is no right or wrong and there is no way of obtaining knowledge. So if you cast aside the truth of who God is, you have no basis for morality or law.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

"but I would remind you that apart from God there is no right or wrong and there is no way of obtaining knowledge. So if you cast aside the truth of who God is, you have no basis for morality or law. "

The thing you call a god does not exist. It is an excuse for man's limitations. While we are saddled with these limitations we should attempt to define what is knowledge, what is truth and what is moral by the ethical gauge inside ourselves and not by the poison we are fed in the name of control.

Think for yourself. You don't need shadows to tel you what is right or wrong.

I won't tell you what to think about the equality of people like and unlike yourself. You don't need to be told. The answer is already inside you merely obscured by the crud of superstition. Look beneath what you have been told to think and there you will find your own truth, knowledge and morality.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

What I am about to say will sound rude, but so be it. You sound just like the devil when he told Eve that she could be as God knowing good and evil. Your innner ehtical gauge is simply what you want. It is no objective moral standard that a person can go by. So again, without God you have no moral basis for anything. You cannot even demonstrate that murder is morally wrong apart from the truth of who God is.

hujiko 5 years, 1 month ago

"if you cast aside the truth of who God is, you have no basis for morality or law"

Religion is anthropogenic.

All morality is derived from human reason in the form of religious texts.

There is no divine influence in this process.

There is no God, only man.

Man cooked up your version of morality, why can't everyone?

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

So basically you are admitting that you have no basis for truth and morality. So why are you trying to push your irrational (no basis in reason) views on the rest of us? If you have no basis for morality, why do you think we "should" adopt your views of morality? Could it be that Dostoevsky was right? Indeed, without God all things are permissible.

Without God you have no basis for reason, morality, or purpose in life. Yet you are flopping around like a fish out of water looking for something to give life meaning. It is futile apart from God. You deny God and then try to use the things given to you by God to say there is no God. To assert that anything is true or right or wrong or that human beings have meaning apart from God demonstrates that God speaks within you and that you are fleeing from that by suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.

hujiko 5 years, 1 month ago

Religion = Anthropogenic

Seems pretty rational.

I'm not advocating any ONE version of morality, just that everyone choose their OWN morality. I do realize this sounds like a separate version of morality, except that the end result isn't homogenous, as you would like to see it.

Should you choose to believe in God, I will not stop you. Don't stop me from not believing in God.

"you are flopping around like a fish out of water looking for something to give life meaning"

I never said a thing about giving life meaning, you are trying to equivocate atheism with nihilism, a common fallacy for theists.

You call my beliefs irrational, but once again, I will tell you to take a look in the nearest mirror. You have based your version of the truth on something written by man thousands of years ago at a time when they didn't fully comprehend what they were writing about. Now centuries later you have misconstrued a mostly allegorical text as literal truth, and should you not believe it you will be cast into eternal damnation by an all-loving God. Now THAT'S rational.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

"Physical identiites are not clear (by sight alone) in the case of true hermaphrodites or in the case of those who have taken hormones and have had surgeries."

Post op is reassigned gender. There is nothing unclear about that. As for true hermaphrodites, they are the only example that might be considered unclear, however, most are unfortunately "fixed" soon after birth.

"If you are simply referring to what a person thinks on a given day,"

They don't think it on A given day, they think it on EVERY given day, just like you.

"Where have I condemned them? I am simply setting out the message that homosexual activity is a sin against God"

QED.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

"They don't think it on A given day, they think it on EVERY given day, just like you."

How do you know that? People do change very rapidly at times. So if one day I want to identify myself as a female, do I then have a right to female sports teams and female bathrooms? After all, I would have a mental identity or at least claim to.

Richard Smith 5 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps you should live up to your name (seeker of truth). If you sought the truth regardless of whether you liked it or not or it had to be what you and your friends liked, perhaps you would see things. But as it is you are supressing the truth in unrighteousness (Rom 1:18).

Sherry Warren 5 years, 1 month ago

Read the book Sexing the Brain by Leslie Rogers for an accessible explanation of how humans do not entirely understand the processes that lead to the physiological differences that we refer to as "gender". No genetics degree required.

slvrntrt 5 years, 1 month ago

Wow, I just remembered I'm in Kansas. Some of these people posting are completely nuts. By the way, those nasty, god hating, baby killing homosexuals you are ranting about? They're already covered by our existing policy. This is about a different, very small group of people.

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