Archive for Thursday, February 17, 2011

Critics say religious freedom bill in Kansas House discriminates against gay people

February 17, 2011


— A bill touted by its supporters Thursday as a way to keep government from infringing on religious freedom was criticized by opponents as a deceptive way to discriminate against people who are gay.

House Bill 2260 would prohibit government from denying the exercise of religion unless there was a compelling government interest.

Joel Oster, senior litigation counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, said the legislation is needed to prevent government from forcing people to go against their religious beliefs. He cited an instance in New Mexico where a photographer was ruled in violation of state law because she refused to photograph a same-sex wedding.

The bill was also supported by the Kansas Catholic Conference and Concerned Women for America of Kansas.

But opponents of the bill said that the way it was written it would allow discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

And they said the legislation would nullify local ordinances, such as the one in Lawrence that prohibits landlords, employers and others from discriminating against people based on their sexual orientation.

During a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, state Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, spoke against a major part of the bill.

“I do not believe that our Kansas Constitution and our Kansas statutes should be used to condone discrimination on the basis of an individual exercising their freedom of religion. I would hope that you not keep this clause in the bill,” Francisco said.

Tom Witt, executive director of the Kansas Equality Coalition, said he believes the impetus for the bill was the recent passage in Manhattan of an ordinance that adds sexual orientation and a new definition of gender identity to its anti-discrimination policy.


Daniel Dicks 7 years, 1 month ago

Looks like the circus is finally coming to town.

pace 7 years, 1 month ago

Anti gay laws, we refuse to serve en, it is against our religions. We won't rent to them. we won't hire them. Nothing personal, it is our religion, and oh yeah our religion extends to Muslims and Catholics, oh, revelation. people from Nebraska or Hawaii, our god told us to discriminate. our god says we don't have to render to rome our coin or office. The new antigay church of bigots. the homophobes formed the church of Phelps. Does the minority have to form into a church to be full citizens? Is that the tea standard? . tax these "churches".

BigPrune 7 years, 1 month ago

i'm so tired of the pro gay rhetoric, always trying to force their morals on everyone else, or else.

pace 7 years, 1 month ago

No body at the party would ever want you to be gay Prune. I know it sounds, it might even be, intolerant, but please don't become gay, no matter what your hear or what movies you see. Please don't do it it isn't that I don't think you couldn't learn the skills, but like opera, oh never mind, just trust my instincts on this. Please don't turn gay.
My boy is gay and he and his friends are handling the gay thing. It was hard to indoctrinate him, to say just the right word at the right stage. But with my mom's help we got a great batch of gays in our family. I don't want to say why I feel you shouldn't , just please, don't turn gay.

deec 7 years, 1 month ago

Maybe the people who support this are afraid of their own lack of morals, like my fundamentalist catholic ex, who cheated on me nine times (that I know of).

mbulicz 7 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, how dare they discriminate against your believed right to discriminate.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

You can believe whatever you like.

But, that doesn't give you the right to discriminate against others on the basis of that belief.

Grundoon Luna 7 years, 1 month ago

How do you extrapolate from ensuring that the rights of everyone are not infringed upon that gays are forcing their morals on everyone else? For intellignet people that's a big strech, but no so far for itty bitty minds.

Who is forcing you to be gay? Are you being strapped to a chair and forced to view gay videos? Has your wife been kidnapped and held hostage at Spinter's Books? Is there a platoon of drag queens chasing you down with make-up and Bob Mackie dresses in tow to make you sing "It's Raining Men?" Gays exist and always have so it's time you accept them rather than maginalize them.

xclusive85 7 years, 1 month ago

Intelligent. Funny that was the word you misspelled though.

Joseph Jarvis 7 years, 1 month ago

@BigPrune: It would go away if people stopped forcing their morals on us.

DillonBarnes 7 years, 1 month ago

Let a business' prejudices work against them, don't force them to conform. Let's say a business refused service to me because I am an atheist, well, I get offended at first. However, given more thought, I don't want to give them my business, and I'd sure as hell tell everyone I know that that business wouldn't serve me because of my religious views.

It's a fine line, when one person's beliefs prohibits them from serving a type of person. I certainly don't want to see anyone discriminated against because of the way they were born, but I hate to infringe on other people's beliefs.

Let the almighty decide (almighty dollar that is). Give your business to those who don't discriminate. If people can't make the moral decision to serve everyone, they will probably eventually make the financial decision.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 1 month ago

Another jobs program promoted by those 'smaller government' types. Wish they would get around to the budget and skip the ancient, mythological ideologies. Guess a sky god (the right one, obviously) is talking to these people again.

suzchase 7 years, 1 month ago

I believe if you want to use religion as a reason for not doing something - under this proposed law- you should be able to provide documentation from your religious source (the Bible, Koran, etc) that says explicitly that you must discriminate against homosexuals. It's one thing to believe that the book you live by says something is 'bad' or 'unholy' but it's quite another to extend that to mean "if it's bad, then people guilty of doing this bad thing suddenly lose their rights".

coderob 7 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, but people also used the Bible as justification for slavery and segregation.

Raiden 7 years, 1 month ago

and don't forget incest and stoning

sr80 7 years, 1 month ago

if i can add it with my medical marijuana card ,i will be a happy camper!!!! yeehaw!!!! i love my rights!!!

svenway_park 7 years ago

Can we use these as our new voter ID?

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

Interesting question - does a private photographer (or any other private businessperson) have the right to refuse to photograph a gay wedding?

Are they under any obligation to not discriminate? What if they don't like black people and don't want to photograph any black weddings?


Does the state have any right to require them to take all clients?

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 1 month ago

I wonder if the supporters realize that this legislation could protect a Muslim hotel owner who decides not to book rooms for Christians, you know because of religious beliefs.

I suppose they might look at the bright side. If there's no room at the inn, they can always find an open stable.

JustAsking 7 years, 1 month ago

Who's god? Yours, mine, theirs, or just the "god" you happen to worship?

Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps it might just be easier to change the First Amendment, which already begins, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

After all, the government ought to always be able to eliminate your rights so long as it can claim that it has a "compelling" (in its own opinion) reason to do so.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

The problem is what happens when one person's exercise of their freedom of religion involves discriminating against someone else, and thereby violating their constitutional right to not be discriminated against?

Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

Constitutional right not to be discriminated against? Seriously? So the government can no longer deny Social Security to the young, employment to the unqualified, or demand that only men register for the selective service?

pace 7 years, 1 month ago

You want to bring discrimination back in fashion? Just declare the word means something else. True all discrimination is not against the law. you are allowed to wear yellow and orange together but no you are no longer allowed to deny a job, housing, service because you don't like someone's color. Just come clean, you miss the good old days when prejudice ran civil rights and civil rights didn't trump prejudice in the courts. To claim right to refuse service or housing is the same as age requirement for retirement is more than dumb, it is self deceiving. Argue within sense. Ridiculous sound bites and denial of definition doesn't make sound argument.

Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

"You want to bring discrimination back in fashion?"

Please, you need to be at least this smart to take part in this conversation. And if that's discriminatory, I apologize.

pace 7 years, 1 month ago

right you are so smart you think not hiring someone because of their color is the same as making 10 year old eligible for social security payments. You are denying what smart means.

Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

No, seriously, I'm going to have to ask you to step out of the line until you have at least a fifth grade reading comprehension. I'm sorry, but rules are rules.

pace 7 years, 1 month ago

Oh poor fussick sick is the operative word. If you are going to pout because people make a little fun of you insisting on "unique' redefining words. You can just hold your breath waiting for people to agree with stupid definitions. If you really think people are stupid or can't read if they call you on your denial or reasoning. You have been spoiled by your care takers.

Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

Au contraire. If you can't understand that supporting decriminalization of marijuana is not the same as wanting everyone to smoke pot, then you do not have enough mental maturity to draw distinctions to discuss the subject intelligently. In the same way, if you cannot understand that supporting one's right to engage in commerce only within one's morality is not the same as pining for societal segregation, then I'm afraid I cannot help you.

But I can make an announcement on the loudspeaker so your mom can come get you and take you back to the kiddie rides. Seriously, you'll enjoy them a lot more.

pace 7 years, 1 month ago

You are not making any sense. You make personal attacks because you were raised to do that rather than reason. While I pity you, it doesn't change I challenge your reasoning. Changing what I said does not make your argument. It makes you wrong in about what I said.

Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

"You are not making any sense."

'I don't understand you' is hardly a defense, it is merely a confirmation of what I said. There's nothing wrong with that. We all have to walk before we can run.

However, I am not changing your words at all. You opined that I "want to bring discrimination back in fashion," when I already noted elsewhere that I have no interest in that whatsoever. So either you are intellectually dishonest or this discussion is truly over your head. I'll be happy to give you the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to this discussion being for the bigger kids. As much as you wish to play xbox with them, I really suggest Candyland would prove more satisfying.

pace 7 years, 1 month ago

You persist on posting nonsensical arguments that have nothing to do with the topic. I assume your posting of nonsense and personal attacks is more a mental illness issue than any interest in discussion on topic. Just denying the definitions of words and stating another person said something they did not say is not reasoned argument .

Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

"Nowhere in the Constitution does it give you the right to discriminate."

The Constitution does not delineate my rights, it delineates restrictions on the government. However, it's really a rather silly statement even if all rights did come form the constitution. Do you not discriminate when you choose to feed your own kids but send the neighbor kids home for dinner? Do you not discriminate when you marry a single person and ignore all the others who want to get married? Do you not discriminate when you only say hello to your friends and not strangers on the street?

Everyone has the right to discriminate and everyone discriminates in countless ways every day. The only question is from whom will the government will take that right.

Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

Not at all, for the 'common sense' of one age is the civic sin of another. Was there not a time not so long ago when it was common sense that black people attend separate schools from whites? Hint: yes it was.

So the question comes down to, and always comes down to, in what way can the government circumscribe your right to discriminate, to choose one thing over another. In what way can they restrict your freedom of association? Be careful how much leverage you give the government over your choices, because common sense seldom is for long.

Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

You don't believe it, but you did not live then, which is exactly the point. For those who lived then, it was absolutely common sense, which is why such laws were almost universal in the first place.

Common sense changes over time for a lot of reasons. The rights you have as an individual do not (or should not) change, especially based on something so flimsy as 'common sense,' which is no more and no less than the prejudice of the age. They should change even less based on what the government finds 'compelling.'

Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

If I do not respect the 'common sense' of today, what makes you think I would respect or pine for the equally subjective 'common sense' of another day?

You seem to have missed the point entirely, which is that letting government enshrine common sense at the expense of your rights is a very bad idea.

Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

On a wholly unrelated note, thank you for your service.

pace 7 years, 1 month ago

You posting as defense of your argument that someone did not live in the time is not the same as making a case for such a ridiculous premise. Extrapolation of the reasoning would say any evil or bizarre event was based on common sense. since it happened. That is stupid reasoning. If you don't take yourself seriously you ight wait, think before you post.

Fossick 7 years ago

See, Pace, this is where you demonstrate that you really are out of your element.

Jesse's argument was "I don't believe (segregation) was common sense." His evidence? It has been overturned today. But his evidence only illustrates common sense today.

If the non-existence of segregation is based on 'common sense' today, does it not follow that its existence was 'common sense' when it existed? Of course it does, which is why it was nearly universal - you will look in vain to see any significant group of opinion from, say, the 1890s that looked anything like that of the 1950s. Nearly everyone believed in segregation then, as universally as we shun it today.

The fact that Jesse did not live in the time has led him to the error of opinion that what is common sense today can be transferred to other times. It cannot, and no historian or student of any period other than today would make such an error.

pace 7 years ago

It must please you so many mention your unique definitions as an impediment to your argument making sense. You might consider fewer personal attacks and more time at the dictionary. II doubt if you will, as it is apparent you don't take your self seriously. You just want attention, for being nasty, for how you misuse language and your incoherent argument. You change what I say to fit your rebuttal, It is not the same as rebutting what I actually say., . You might change you avatar to a baby crying with a sign on your neck,' pay attention to me, I am a baby".

pace 7 years ago

That single word is the most intelligent post you have made in months.

Grundoon Luna 7 years, 1 month ago

snicker Way to distort the meaning and context of words there. That is way out there.

coderob 7 years, 1 month ago

I know that the dictionary has multiple definitions of the word discriminate, but there's something fundamentally different between denying a same sex couple housing and refusing to have gay friends. I don't know how to verbalize that difference, but it's there.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

The difference is that we don't consider friendship as a socially guaranteed right, rather as a personal choice.

So anybody can be friends or not with anybody they choose, for whatever reasons.

Employment, housing, eating at restaurants, etc. seem to be things we've concluded people should be able to do without discrimination based on criteria of race, gender, etc.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 1 month ago

While in the military the two who shared my room were gay and I had no clue.... maybe naive. These two and I became good friends and had some great times.

An investigation surfaced which means I was called in to answer some very unusual questions for which I could not answer. Finally I asked why in the world am I being asked these strange questions? It was then I found out.

These two and I became good friends and had some great times. The investigation did not change that. It did however help me realize how wrong things can get.

The investigation was squashed by a senator who had a nephew involved. Rightfully so. Yes it was a good move.

Kirk Larson 7 years, 1 month ago

"You're either for Fred Phelps or you're against him" -Forrest Swall

Now we know.

blindrabbit 7 years, 1 month ago

Each town in Kansas will be encouraged to build a pillory so the gay-bashing and witch hunt victims can be publicly defiled. All exorcisms will be performed on Wednesdays by the Catholic preisthood and signage provided by the Phelps Family. God bless you all.

notanota 7 years, 1 month ago

Not knowing more about this bill than the way it's written, wouldn't this also prevent people from getting their birth control pills filled by a Catholic pharmacist?

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

Yes, I think so.

If the pharmacist felt their religion didn't allow them to fill those prescriptions.

notanota 7 years, 1 month ago

Isn't that the new ultraconservative front on the war against reproductive rights? Make sure women can't get birth control at the pharmacy?

xclusive85 7 years, 1 month ago

well, not really. While I am not saying no one should use birth control, If women didn't/don't want to have children, they could just not have sex.

Raiden 7 years, 1 month ago

so if a man doesn't want to have children then he shouldn't have sex either? Does it also mean that a pharmacy shouldn't sell condoms if they don't believe in birth control? So is the celibacy of Catholic priest about not wanting to have children or their vow.....and look how well so many of them have turned out - NOT.

deec 7 years, 1 month ago

A woman could also be married, and she and her partner don't want children...right now. Are you positing that married people should be abstinent? And what business is it of the pharmacist's whether a woman is sexually active? If she has a prescription, she should be able to fill it. Period.

evilpenguin 7 years, 1 month ago

I'd be interested to know if the photographer who refused to photograph the gay wedding actually specifically said the reason she wouldn't do it was because the couple was gay.

Surely it is her personal choice to do that, as a business owner? A barman can refuse to sell someone alcohol if they are too drunk. If that person is gay, is this discrimination?

Why bother making a law? You can't legislate the way people think. If someone's homophobic, they're probably never going to change, and that's sad for them. What's the point in going through life preaching one thing and doing another?

I'm not religious in any way, I don't hate religious people, I don't hate gay people, what's the point? In the end, your hatred for others will consume your life and you'll end up a hollow empty shell of a person - bitter and mean spirited. Just get on with your life and let other people do what they want.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

That is the interesting question to me.

If a bar owner doesn't allow black people in their bar, is that discrimination?

Of course it is - the question is whether they have the right to do that or not. From what I know, our legal system has concluded that they don't, although I can't find any specific prohibitions against it in the constitution.

You can't legislate the way people think, but you can (and should) legislate the way they act.

Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

"From what I know, our legal system has concluded that they don't, although I can't find any specific prohibitions against it in the constitution."

That's exactly correct: there are no constitutional prohibitions against discrimination, per se. Nor does the government now or in the past refrain from discriminating. Only men were drafted into the Armed Services, for example, and no person under 35 can be President. It's age and sex discrimination.

The question is not "Will there be discrimination?" the question is "to what extent will individuals be allowed to discriminate?" The Catholic pharmacist is mentioned, but what about the atheist who chooses not to carry books by Jimmy Swaggart in his store? Does he have the right to not carry those things, to not offer business, based on religion (his or that of others)? I would argue that he does. I would even argue that he has the right to carry what he wants, and to do business with whomever he wants, and it's none of my business why.

This does not mean that discrimination is a good thing (sometimes it is - such as when we put age and disability requirements on SocSec - and sometimes it's not), but that freedom is a good thing and ought to be maximized, even if people abuse it.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

It seems to me that your use of discrimination is a bit too broad.

And that more distinctions would be good.

For example, it's one thing to say that a gay/lesbian bookstore can choose which books to carry, and another to say that they can turn away customers based on their sexual preferences.

Designing a retirement program, and only having it apply to folks at a certain age makes sense - disallowing women from service in the army may not.


Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

"For example, it's one thing to say that a gay/lesbian bookstore..."

But it's really not. By choosing which books to carry, they are allowing or denying authors the ability to sell their works, are they not? They are choosing to do business with certain authors, which is no different in principle than choosing to do business with certain customers. I would suspect that many here would have a problem if Amazon, for example, declined to carry any books by gay authors. That would be bemoaned as a horrible discrimination. Is it really any different is a store decides to carry only books by them? It is the same act of choosing.

The problem is that discrimination in this debate seldom means any more than "discrimination that I do not personally like." And the loudest argue that discrimination they do not like should be illegal, while, ironically, arguing that other people should not be allowed to impose their morality on the population at large.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

I understand what you're saying.

But, should we require all bookstores to carry all books? That wouldn't make any sense. Small bookstores would go out of business. It seems ok to me to have a bookstore that specializes in mystery novels, for example. And, not the same kind of problem as if they refused to carry any mystery novels written by black people, or Jewish ones.

Are you really ok with any sort of discrimination, signs saying "No Jews allowed" or "No Native Americans served here"?

I imagine the laws against discrimination were based on certain criteria, and haven't been found to be unconstitutional.

The fundamental question, it seems to me, is what sort of "rights" we believe people should have in our society - do we believe that anybody should have the right to go into a restaurant and eat a meal there? Do we believe that any author of any book should have the right to sell it at any store they choose? Etc.

Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

"But, should we require all bookstores to carry all books? "

Precisely the opposite, we should respect the freedom of the bookstore to sell whatever books it wants, and we should respect the right of the photographer and the pharmacist and the landlord and anyone else to do exactly the same.

It's not at all a question of "whether I'm ok" with something, it's a question of whether I'm going to support someone else's freedom even if I don't agree with what they are doing with it. Freedom means that I'm not going to like a lot of what they do.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

So your version allows the landlord complete freedom in choosing tenants, but interferes with the prospective tenants' ability to find housing.

Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

"So your version allows the landlord complete freedom in choosing tenants..."

Well, tenants cannot be chosen against their will, so it does not create such a one-sided "complete freedom."

But does it allow complete freedom in picking from among those potential tenants who wish to live there? Yes.

Does it allow tenants complete freedom to pick from among potential landlords who wish them to live there? Yes.

Does it demand socially-acceptable explanations if either side for whatever reason does not with to associate with the other? No, it does not.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

So, if you were looking for a place to rent, and had difficulty because you are Native American and found that many landlords didn't want to rent to you, and/or had to pay higher rent than white folks, that would be ok with you?

Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

Would I like such a situation? Of course not, but I already said that I'm willing to respect the freedom of others even if I don't like it.

The thing is, this is not about me, my likes, or even my morality. It's about whether Americans have freedom or whether we need every one of our decisions approved via legislation and group pressure.

jafs 7 years ago

I don't agree.

I think it's about the balance between individual freedom, and the understanding that we want a certain kind of society, in which people have certain rights.

Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

"...includes the right to act or refuse to act in a manner substantially motivated by a sincerely-held religious tenant or belief..."

I'm wondering if that should be 'tenet' rather than 'tenant.' A sincerely-held tenant is liable to get one into trouble, especially if she doesn't want to be...

mbulicz 7 years, 1 month ago

Just demonstrates this bill's idiocy. It's not even proofread, let alone fact checked. Zero possibility of pondering nuance. It's a bunch of neanderthal blowhards trying to force us back to the purported good ol' days, when men were men, blacks weren't allowed, women made babies, and gay people got beaten to death.

Oh, and when people lived under the magical sky wizard's biography, as written by sheep herders thousands of years ago.

whats_going_on 7 years, 1 month ago

I'm just curious why anyone would want a photographer who is that ignorant anyway. It's their loss...missing out on that sale. PLUS the bad press and missing possible future sales.

Kontum1972 7 years, 1 month ago

Gee....did not Adolph Hitler and his posse' have the same policy during WW2....for just about everyone...?

So,...when will War be declared on the Rev. and his posse'..?

Fred is also against our troops...not supporting our troops i feel is Not American..they are in HARM's way and we are here. It is a dirty job....but our Heroes do it...!

Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

Jafs: "For example, it's one thing to say that a gay/lesbian bookstore can choose which books to carry..."

Let me ask something, then, and not just of you. I agree absolutely with the statement above, and I doubt anyone would have a problem with it. A book store has every right to include or exclude, to carry or not carry, whatever books it chooses based on whatever reason it wants. Absolute freedom to sell or not sell books. Are we agreed?

Now, let's take this back to Notanota's "Catholic pharmacist." Does the Catholic pharmacist have the same right to include or exclude, to carry or not carry, sell or not sell morning after pills for whatever reason he wants including religious reasons?

If not, why not?

Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

OK, so a young gay lawyer works at a law office that provides all manner of services. Fred Phelps walks in and demands to be represented in one of them.

Should the lawyer (who is an employee, not an owner) be compelled by law to represent Mr. Phelps against his desire and conscience?

deec 7 years, 1 month ago

Refusing to fill a prescription is denying someone medical care.

Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

"Refusing to fill a prescription is denying someone medical care."

Just as much as refusing to legally represent someone is denying them their legal and constitutional rights.

Please answer the question: should the state compel this lawyer to represent Mr. Phelps in violation of his own conscience?

deec 7 years, 1 month ago

The ability to hire a one lawyer over another lawyer is a little different than being denied access to medical service. In a town sufficiently large to support more than one pharmacy, it might not make much difference whether one were denied a prescription. In a rural area where they may only be the one pharmacy within a reasonable distance, being denied access to prescription drugs could be a big problem.

Fossick 7 years ago

What if the town only had one lawyer?

Here, I'll make it simple: no, he does not. No one should be forced, by law, to act against their own conscience in commerce. That freedom applies to gay lawyers, it applies to Catholic pharmacists, it applies to atheist book store owners.

People opposed to this legislation (and I am, but for different reasons) seem to be hung up on one thing: that someone religious might do something they don't want to him do. That's a very bad reason to support state power, imo.

The headline on this whole article is misleading: this bill does not discriminate against gay people. There is nothing in it that singles them out. A law which forces the Catholic pharmacist can be used to force the gay lawyer as well. But I guess that's equality in a strange way.

jafs 7 years ago

I'm not sure that birth control pills are "medical care", in the same sense that antibiotics are.

jafs 7 years ago

Interesting question.

I think being a lawyer in a law firm is a little different than being an employee in a store - I imagine most law firms allow their lawyers some latitude in accepting clients.

Also, of course, that lawyer isn't likely to do a great job with Phelps.

And, in a pharmacy in a Walgreen's, for example, if the Walgreen's wants to allow their pharmacists to refuse to dispense birth control pills, they should have to post that information clearly and conspicuously, and have to deal with any loss of customers it creates.

But I get your point.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't know about "absolute" freedom, for "whatever" reason - if a black or Jewish gay author is denied while white ones are allowed, there might be a problem.

The owner of a company does have a right to choose their products.

An employee doesn't have the right, probably, to choose whether to sell them or not, as vertigo points out.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

The more interesting question would be whether a gay/lesbian bookstore should have the right to exclude books about gay and lesbian topics written by straight people, or books that paint gay and lesbian folks in a negative light.

Fossick 7 years, 1 month ago

Yes, they absolutely have that right.

jafs 7 years ago

I'm not sure I agree.

Having a selection of content that makes sense - eg. mystery novels in a mystery bookstore is one thing.

Discriminating on the basis of the author's race, gender, etc. is another.

Kontum1972 7 years, 1 month ago

my that cute blonde at wal-greens..and i dont care what her religion is...Wheeee...Hoooo...Hot cha cha...cha...!

Kontum1972 7 years, 1 month ago

i am for he is in the crosswalk....and i am in my 4X4...

Joseph Jarvis 7 years, 1 month ago

There's no federal or state constitutional prohibition against private discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on several traits (race, sex, etc.). The Kansas Act Against Discrimination does likewise. Neither covers sexual orientation or gender identity.

Cities in Kansas have home rule powers granted by the people via the Kansas constitution. Lawrence and Manhattan have chosen municipal nondiscrimination ordinances that go further and cover sexual orientation and gender identity (Manhattan only). Manhattan's extension happened only a couple weeks ago.

This bill lacks a named sponsor, but it was introduced by Rep. Lance Kinzer from Olathe. The state preempting Kansas cities' home rule is too controversial (paging the League of Municipalities), so we have this backhanded attempt to do so couched in terms of religious freedom.

This bill is overbroad and vague. All state agencies and every city would have to analyze whether each of its actions (including toward its employees) impact religion. And for the Fred Phelpses of the world, it would beg new litigation to test this bill's protections.

Kinzer is just enabling anti-gay reactionaries like the Kansas Family Policy Council and Alliance Defense Fund's to strike out at the new Manhattan ordinance.

Jason Bowers-Chaika 7 years, 1 month ago

Individual 1st amendment religious beliefs do not trump 14th amendment equal protection protections.

The ordinances in Manhattan and in Lawrence allow for individuals and mom and pop business to discriminate already. The ordinances only apply to businesses over a threshold number of employees and landlords over a threshold number of rental units.

Yet again, the anti's are stirring up fear to promote their hateful agenda.

Joseph Jarvis 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't think this has anything to do with the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 1 month ago

OK. Now we have the Mexicans (Jews, yellow star), gays (no change there, pink triangle). Who's up to be the gypsies? Liberals?

Stuart Evans 7 years, 1 month ago

if you think gay people have it rough, try being an atheist.

FloridaSunshine 7 years, 1 month ago

All mentioned are choices. We get to choose in this life what we want to be...isn't that incredible and wonderful??!!

FloridaSunshine 7 years, 1 month ago

Umm... the jury is still "out" on that one. I happen to believe it is a are free to believe whatever you want to believe...isn't that incredible and wonderful??!!

FloridaSunshine 7 years, 1 month ago reason for making the statement I did about choices was not to get into an ongoing "lose-lose" scenario with you as happened with fossick and you, fossick and jafs, fossick and pace. That's not my style.

But because this is a very serious issue to me (and others) I was almost going to post a full answer to your question. Then I made the choice to delete it and not enter into what would be, as I stated in the paragraph above, a lose-lose scenario. The reason I made my original comment is because I DO think it's wonderful that everyone has a choice. I'll leave it at that, ok? With a little P.S. It's never a wise move to assume anything about anyone, especially when you don't know the person at all.

(And I know this group well enough by now to be able to say that at least a few of them will attack even the little bit I have said...they've come after me before...right, AreUNorml?)

vertigo, perhaps fossick or pace or jafs will answer your question for you.

jafs 7 years ago


I don't experience my conversation with Fossick as "lose-lose".

Fossick 7 years ago

Nor, did I - going back and forth is the only way to really dig in to an opinion, IMO.

Of course, there are some lose-loses, which usually begin with one side making a smear on the other's character or attributing to them positions they deny, but not all back-and-forths need be so unpleasant.

jafs 7 years ago

The question of whether sexuality is a choice or not is interesting, but to me it doesn't really matter politically.

If it isn't, then people shouldn't be discriminated against on that basis.

If it is, then I see no reason to grant those who choose to be straight more rights and privileges than those who choose to be gay.

Gene Wallace 7 years, 1 month ago

Sunshine, the jury is no longer "Out". Variations in "Gender preference" are mostly caused by irregularities in hormonal levels and illness during gestation. Some is genetic, but, most variations are gestational. Tis not a choice!

Gene Wallace 7 years, 1 month ago

Or Wiccan. Lost a couple jobs here in Lawrence due to not being in the broomcloset. I can now use my muggle name here, because, I'm retired and can't be fired!

coderob 7 years, 1 month ago

And the legislature says it's worried about the declining population. What about the 10 percent of the Kansas population they're driving away by giving legal weight to this idea?

Joseph Jarvis 7 years, 1 month ago

I graduated from a Kansas public high school of 2,000 in the late 1990s. No one was out at the time. Fast forward to today. Every classmate I know who's come out since has left Kansas for a coastal city. I did too, but then regretted it and came back. Many in the coast take the rest of the country for granted. We're basically their puppy mills, i.e., lots of talent and brains that migrate to more amenable coastal cities.

coderob 7 years, 1 month ago

"Nothing in this act shall be construed to: authorize any relationship, marital or otherwise, that would violate section 15 of article 15 of the constitution of the state of Kansas"

And another thought: do the authors of this bill realize that their kids are probably going to end up voting down this part of the constitution anyway?

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

How about other businesses, like restaurants, landlords, grocery stores, etc.?

Should they be allowed to deny service based on race, gender, sexual preference, etc.?

Gregory Newman 7 years, 1 month ago

It's everybodys fault we didn't build the closet big enough. Its funny that nobody mentioned the word insensitive by calling me the "N" word until it affected the Gays. Yet I am a born and raised American since 1952 and its still not insensitive to use the "N" word although it doesn't bother me because I know what I'm not.

So why is it the Gays get a pass on anything? I spent 3 years 10 months and 18 days for service in Vietnam. I think I own a piece of this rock. Yet, not one time that I have said that I wasn't free. So therefore, some folks need to free their mind so their behind will follow.

voevoda 7 years, 1 month ago

This is another example of the current KS legislature taking resources away from the real problems facing the state in order to enact legislation that is nothing more than political grandstanding.
And as usual, passing this law to prevent a non-existent problem will create genuine problems, which will then tie the state up in expensive lawsuits. Sort of like the proposed voter identity card law, and the prohibition on obeying Federal health insurance law, and the anti-illegal immigration law, etc.
If the state can't even afford to maintain the Kansas Arts Commission, it certainly can't afford to enact stupid laws.

svenway_park 7 years ago

Because if you don't have money to fund a broken budget, you got to find new enemies to fear to replace that now toothless godless soviet communist empire.

It is just a sleight of hand to change the people's focus.

Fear, fear, fear. Our reptilian brains still control our species.

jobohe 7 years ago

There is no freedom not to be offended.

6 years, 12 months ago

to beat that horse one more time - isn't this proposed law unconstitutional?

and I hadn't even thought about how it violates the Kansas Home Rule . . .

this seems to be destined to fail . . .

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