Archive for Sunday, July 3, 2011

Brownback effort seeks to boost marriage rates

July 3, 2011


— A group sharing marriage program ideas with Gov. Sam Brownback and state health officials includes one person who has said polygamy is more in line with core values than same-sex marriage.

Besides David Blankenhorn, the founder of the Institute for American Values in New York, another of the 20 people who offered advice at an April meeting was consultant Maggie Gallagher. She has said Christians had to be the “visible light” for people failing to grasp intricacies of the institution.

The governor urged people invited to the gathering to think in terms of “Hail Mary” approaches to boosting marriage rates and slashing divorce rates in Kansas.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that content of the discussions remains confidential. But a Kansas Open Records Act request revealed names of the players and showed the session cost taxpayers $13,000.

Other participants included Marriage Savers creator Mike McManus who has said clergy members typically did a lousy job preparing couples for marriage and secular therapists were more likely to increase divorce among spouses in crisis.

McManus said clergy members in each Kansas county should sign and enforce a “community marriage policy” to prohibit church weddings unless the couple completed a 200-item, premarital inventory and met several times with a mentor couple trained by the church.

McManus said in a follow-up letter to Brownback that Kansas should prohibit no-fault divorce unless there was proof of physical abuse or adultery. A Kansas law ought to be passed, he said, allowing judges to select a “responsible spouse,” which would always be the person opposed to divorce. The statute would allow the responsible adult to receive up to 66 percent of child visitation and 100 percent of family assets in the divorce.

The Republican governor’s effort has received some criticism.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat who voted against confirmation of Brownback’s choice of secretary for the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, said he was intrigued by the governor’s simultaneous talk about removing government from the lives of the average Kansan and creating a state marriage program filled with faith-based advocacy.

“I learned a long time ago, actually in Sunday school, you should have a separation of church and state,” Hensley said. “These kinds of measures are overreaching into personal relationships.”

Social and Rehabilitation Services Secretary Robert Siedlecki, who is responsible for implementing the governor’s marriage initiative, said thousands of Kansas residents who divorce each year lacked the skills and knowledge to form sustainable relationships. He said divided families are costly to government and harmful to children.

“We are really starting from ground zero,” Siedlecki said. “The governor wants us to create a national model.”


Gareth Skarka 6 years ago

Brilliant. That will be sure to generate jobs and solve the budget problems facing the state.

Opus Dei nutjob.

overthemoon 6 years ago

"The governor urged people invited to the gathering to think in terms of “Hail Mary” approaches to boosting marriage rates and slashing divorce rates in Kansas."

What on earth does this mean? Is he talking rosaries or last chance football passes?

How odd that Michelle Obama suggest options for dealing with childhood obesity and is vilified for encouraging a 'nanny state' but Brownback and his 7 Mountains club wants to get into the personal lives of citizens. This crap has got to stop.

beatrice 6 years ago

Who says bad taste is necessarily a bad thing?

gudpoynt 6 years ago

missionary position.... Bwahahahaha!!!! nice.

I suppose anything is better than woman on top, huh?

deec 6 years ago

"A Kansas law ought to be passed, he said, allowing judges to select a “responsible spouse,” which would always be the person opposed to divorce. The statute would allow the responsible adult to receive up to 66 percent of child visitation and 100 percent of family assets in the divorce." What if, as in my case, the person opposed to divorce is also the adulterer who was abusive to both myself and the children?

Kirk Larson 6 years ago

My first thought exactly. Or if it's the crazy religious nutjob who thinks he's doing god's work by meddling in people's lives...oh wait, that's the governor.

deec 6 years ago

Oh, and I've got the popcorn in the microwave. Anybody need a beer while I'm up?

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

I'll have one! I have to get an aspirin anyway to deal with my head exploding.

Catalano 6 years ago

Hail Mary this, governor. Who IS this Jesus you proclaim to serve, anyway? I'll put mine up against yours any day of the week. Now, shoo. Go wash somebody's feet.

Scott Morgan 6 years ago

He said divided families are costly to government and harmful to children.

nuff said.......

tomatogrower 6 years ago

So what is the cost when one spouse is physically abusive or unfaithful? Death? Screwed up children? Is Brownback your god? Brownback says it so it must be true.

dogsandcats 6 years ago

Time to move out of the state, I think. This is getting too scary.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

Please stay. We need to stand against this stupidity.

Sally Piller 6 years ago

That would be pointless since this is a nation wide movement. Mr. Brownback and his ilk want very badly for him to be president. We Kansans need to step up and fight his every move. Stick around and help us point out to the nation what a corrupt idiot he is!

Jeanne Cunningham 6 years ago

Well, someday - probably hundreds of years from now - when Kansas finally catches up to the reality that denying marriage licenses (legal contracts between persons) on the basis of sex is unconstitutional, maybe there will be a rash of new marriages??? just sayin'

Katara 6 years ago

"Social and Rehabilitation Services Secretary Robert Siedlecki, who is responsible for implementing the governor’s marriage initiative, said thousands of Kansas residents who divorce each year lacked the skills and knowledge to form sustainable relationships. He said divided families are costly to government and harmful to children."

From a man that knows from personal experience. "Siedlecki rarely raises the topic of marriage without also pointing that he is a divorced father of two daughters who live with their mother.

In January, Siedlecki told members of the Mental Health Coalition of Kansas that his divorce was due to his wife tiring of the uncertainty and frequent moves that accompanied public service.

“It’s not like I’m ‘holier than thou, I’m on the other side,’" he told coalition members. "I’ve seen the suffering. I have two daughters. It bothers me every day. I hope that someday I can talk to God and ask ‘Why?’”

Naw, I'll just make it look like my wife was a selfish b who can't comprehend the sacrifices I make for public service.

This man valued his career over his family and he is going to be in charge of implementation of marriage "initiatives".

roadwarrior 6 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Sally Piller 6 years ago

Unbelievable. Also responsible for removing Lawrence's SRS.

impska 6 years ago

"McManus said in a follow-up letter to Brownback that Kansas should prohibit no-fault divorce unless there was proof of physical abuse or adultery. "

So, if I want to divorce my husband, I potentially lose primary custody of my kids and lose my assets, BUT if I claim that I beat him and slept with the pool boy, then we can have a nice no-fault divorce?

And if I'm guilty of regular old emotional abuse, I get to keep my kids and all my money if my spouse tries to leave? Wow, score!

This sounds like a really well thought out idea from what appears to be a certified brain trust. He should run for office!

David Wilhite 6 years ago

Just more Brownback BS. Maybe they should stay out of people's marriages or stop forcing laws to where the man gets screwed in every divorce. I would rather have Sebelius than this Right-Wing Nutjob.

CreatureComforts 6 years ago

I like your username. That is all. :)

Kirk Larson 6 years ago

This will make things worse for men if women have to accuse their husbands of adultery or abuse to get a divorce,

verity 6 years ago

"This man valued his career over his family and he is going to be in charge of implementation of marriage 'initiatives'." I think there's a word for that, well, two now that I think about it---hypocrisy and incompetence. I'll bet his wife could add a few more reasons for the divorce to the list.

I have a plan and I won't charge anything for it. Make people get a license to have children. A minimum of a year's training and counseling with practice thrown in---you know, like teachers have to practice teach. It's not marriage and divorce that are the problem---if there are no children. You have to have a license to drive, to get married, to hunt and fish. Raising children is surely more important than any of those things, why doesn't one have to have a license for that?

Corey Williams 6 years ago

Stop making sense. Rational thought is not something that's welcomed in Kansas Otherwise, that's something I've wanted to see for years.

xclusive85 6 years ago

I really hope this wasn't serious. Abortion would have to be illegal then. You can't be caught in the act of doing something and not get in trouble. People who are hunting, fishing, and driving without a license are breaking a law and those actions have penalties associated with them that could include jail time.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

And how would that be enforced? Would everyone be required to wear chastity belts until they had completed training?

Matthew Herbert 6 years ago

You do understand how child birth occurs, correct? You don't always get a year to plan it.

Cai 6 years ago

if birth control were more available, you would.

Matthew Herbert 6 years ago

Availability is only half the problem. You still have to convince people to use it. I'm looking at your religious conservatives!

Cai 6 years ago

though, that does make it more of an option to require a license to reproduce. Its not like it was impossible. Still not sure I'd agree with that though.

outtatowntownie 6 years ago

Because, unfortunately, this power would eventually be used for evil, not good. Believe me, I've fantasized about the very same thing. But what if only people like Brownback or Gallagher and their ilk were in charge of deciding who is "fit" to have children? Or me and my ilk, for that matter? I guarantee you that ol' Sammy would be childless if it were up to me.

beatrice 6 years ago

Allow gay marriages -- boom! Marriage rates surge.

Verity, Brownback and his followers would never go for a one year training before having children. That would indicate that some might need to practice birth control for a few months, and we can't have that. (I'm not sure, but isn't birth control now illegal in Kansas? Maybe I misread that.) At any rate, the training needs to be nine months or less.

verity 6 years ago

My plan would entail forcible birth control. Then there's the ticklish situation of what to do when birth control fails. But it could all be solved with chastity belts and/or forced castration. I don't see why there should be any problem with that, considering the other intrusions on our privacy that Brownback and crew are requiring.

Bring back chastity belts! They were part of the Age of Chivalry and all that romantic stuff.

Matthew Herbert 6 years ago

forcible birth control? Really? So you get to decide who is fit to breed in our society? Another guy in Germany had that idea about 70 years ago.

verity 6 years ago

Guess my sarcasm was too subtle.

Cai 6 years ago

:P try the tag next time. should have been obvious.

verity 6 years ago

Is that what that means? I thought is was just a lopsided smile.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Actually, it's a tongue sticking out to signify "tongue in cheek".

Cai 5 years, 12 months ago

.... i'd put in a < / s a r c a s m > (no spaces). but it didn't take.

still shows up in my preview though.

verity 6 years ago

What I was trying to say, and perhaps did it badly, was that Brownback's faith-based ideas are going at the problem backwards.

The problem, as I see it, is not marriage or the dissolution thereof, but children. I realize that the logistics of what I have proposed are perhaps insurmountable, but I think we should be focusing on:

1 Educating people to not have children until/unless they are prepared for it

2 Looking at what is good for the children already here

Even my very conservative, religious, anti-divorce mother realized that sometimes divorce needed to happen. Punitive measures to keep marriages together is not good for children, let alone the adults involved. I see the proposed methods of ". . . 'Hail Mary' approaches to boosting marriage rates and slashing divorce rates in Kansas" as adding to the problem, not fixing it.

One good parent is better than two bad ones.

deec 6 years ago

So far this marriage thing has cost Kansas 13K. I wonder how many millions will be funneled to churches to pay for the training programs? How much income will the churches lose when people just say "F it. We'll get married by a justice of the peace?" How will this work with the other idea of not "penalizing" people on public aid who get married? Why doesn't Siedlecki have joint custody of his kids? Why doesn't he live in New York so he can see his kids more often? What are the odds there's a girlfriend involved in the divorce?

Katara 6 years ago

How many more will just say "F it. We won't bother getting married at all."?

verity 6 years ago

I'm sure they'll pass a law against that also. They love being in our bedrooms.

KansasPerson 6 years ago

Well I sure wish they'd make my bed and put away the laundry while they're in there. And maybe clean out the dust bunnies from under the bed. Might as well make these people useful in some way.

Kirk Larson 6 years ago

Let alone the cost of the impending lawsuits when they try to enforce this...stuff.

notanota 6 years ago

The person opposing divorce is quite often exactly the wrong person to be getting 66% custody and 100% of the assets.

If anything, this looks like a law designed to boost the non-custodial abduction rate.

LadyJ 6 years ago

I'm sure according to Brownback, there is no such thing as emotional abuse. Wondering how pre-nups figure into this 100% asset thing.

uncleandyt 6 years ago

Divorces will not be granted unless the couple's dwelling has a 50 sq. ft. janitor closet, not counting cabinet space. Are we on Candid Camera?

aryastark1984 6 years ago

LOL! And one of the marital partners must have admitting privileges at a psychiatric facility

mom_of_three 6 years ago

I read this and thought surely this is a joke. Don't worry about my marriage. And I am sure the stressors to some divorces is money and unemployment. So fix that mr. Governor and stop worrying about our private lives.

overthemoon 6 years ago

Money, unemployment and mental illness are, I believe, the top three causes of divorce. And as you point out, Brownback would like to relieve us of any way to deal with all of them.

deec 6 years ago

I think infidelity is up there too. Why no initiative to criminalize adultery? Doesn't the bible call for stoning adulterers?

angie497 6 years ago

No need to criminalize adultery - it's already illegal in Kansas.

deec 6 years ago

Well, then, by gumbo, let's start savin' marriages and throwin' the bums in the pokey!

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

It was interesting reading the comments and seeing how different the viewpoint is in southwest Kansas. These people really do swallow this BS, don't they?

verity 6 years ago

A faith-based lifestyle is a choice. These people think it is a viable alternative to a reality-based lifestyle.

Reality = bad

What I want to be true = good

pace 6 years ago

maybe he could make the marriage laws just apply to real Christians, specifically make state law so if you want to be married you have to prove you are a real christian. they could issue a special state id. You could reform the entire state by requiring a state Christian ID to receive any state service or function. A lot of Europe pays their church tithe as a tax.

Matthew Herbert 6 years ago

when a wife leaves a husband who routinely beats her and her children, thus creating a "divided family", is she harming her children?

Jimo 6 years ago

So is not flossing your teeth. But we're not going to see a gov't program about that because it doesn't involve Brownback's perverted obsession with others' vaginas.

notanota 6 years ago

So is unemployment, poor school systems, and lack of health care. Why don't we fix those problems first?

verity 6 years ago

And that might actually bring down the divorce rate.

notanota 6 years ago

Why would we propose a solution that would actually solve the problem when we could impose misguided morality laws instead?

Jimo 6 years ago

Long ago, "misguided morality laws" were punitive taxes on luxury goods.

Now those pushing "misguided morality laws" actually relish such conspicuous displays of wealth. Long gone are the days when the local millionaires drove 20 year old Chevys, mowed their own lawns, and shopped discount stores.

Today, people worship money. There are people online here who'd lick the sole of a millionaire's shoe because they find such persons to be a superior form of life.

And then people wonder why the nations' morals are in decline. What sort of message does this send to children?

oldexbeat 6 years ago

"McManus said in a follow-up letter to Brownback that Kansas should prohibit no-fault divorce unless there was proof of physical abuse or adultery. A Kansas law ought to be passed, he said, allowing judges to select a “responsible spouse,” which would always be the person opposed to divorce. The statute would allow the responsible adult to receive up to 66 percent of child visitation and 100 percent of family assets in the divorce."

Clearly this is to allow the man (head of the family and the church, right?) to keep all his money, screw over the little woman (mind that man, woman -- said the all men team at the church), and make sure the kids are with his girl friend 66 percent of the time... Brownshirts march on --

notanota 6 years ago

That's exactly what it's about. He can keep his wife submissive by threatening to oppose the divorce. I've seen men play the "If you leave me, I'm hiring a fancy lawyer and taking the kids!" card before, only now they'll have easy ammunition to do it without the fancy lawyer. Brilliant.

Glenn Reed 6 years ago

Y'know what, I'm in a pissy mood at the moment, so I'm going to take your statement a bit personally, if y'don't mind...

Not your statement, specifically, even... but the whole "men are jerks by virtue of being men" ideology.

Things I've seen women do. By no means an exhaustive list...

Become violent in front of children.

Keep a kid in a 100 degree room with no circulation even while the kid is convulsing and dry-heaving from the flu.

Get completely smashed, and drag their kids around by the hair to keep the kid's attention.

Beat the living crap out of the kids.

Have sex with everything that moves. I do mean everything.

Inject IV drugs while the kids are across the room.

Lie to police, lawyers, and judges.

Use children as leverage. "You want to see the kids this weekend? Oh, I think that's okay.... By the way, I need a thousand bucks. Oh, you can't help? Well, maybe they don't want to go. Yeah, the six of them are happier sharing a 40 square foot room. No, they don't want to go to the circus..."

I have other items I could list, but the graphic nature would likely get the comment flagged. The point is, Women are capable of horrific acts.

The idea proposed by McManus would help bad women just as much as it would help men. Religion does that.

I think we can agree on the point that Brownback and his posse have a serious lack of wisdom and rationality. It's important to note that at least a few of his supporters are women.

I'd like you, and all the other misandric women on this site to quit deciding that I'm a bad guy simply because I'm a guy. Between trying to keep myself employed and being the best dad I can be given circumstances and resources, your comments are just painful to read.

That, or just silence yourselves. In a war between the genders, the children suffer the most.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

As a woman who has seen both sides of the coin I have to agree, Glenn. Rotten people are rotten people and they come in both genders. This is a bit of an example. Some years ago my sister worked in a bar in South Carolina. One of the redneck patrons told a racist joke bearing the infamous "N" word. My sister stayed silent at the end of the joke. The would be humorist puffed out his chest and asked her if she had a problem with the joke. She told him no but he should bear in mind that where she came from "that word" had nothing to do with skin color. The entire place went dead silent and you coulda heard a pin drop. I guess that's the way I feel about gender.

Katara 6 years ago

Actually, you are part of the problem if you are not documenting and reporting the bad behavior you claim to have witnessed.

And before I hear the all too familiar screed about how family courts always favor women, I know plenty of single fathers who proved that the mother of their child was not fit and won full custody. It simply takes time and dedication to the children involved.

Frankly, how dare you allow a child to be in that situation and claim that you are not the bad guy? You are the bad guy if you continue to allow that child to be in the situations you claim to have witnessed.

Glenn Reed 6 years ago

In most of these events, I was the child.

Glenn Reed 6 years ago


In most of these events, I was the child.

Tell me, what level responsibility do the children bear in such cases?

Katara 6 years ago

I wonder where anyone would have gotten from your post that you were the child. You certainly did not disclose that so I guess you were just trying to being misleading in order to put another woman in her place.

Also you need to seek from professional assistance not only for dealing with the rage you still harbor at your mother but also to help you understand that emotionally manipulating others does not help your case.

But, hey, you got your shot in. Perhaps you can pretend I am your mother and that will provide some well needed catharsis.

notanota 6 years ago

I'm sorry for your childhood trauma, but it had nothing to do with my post.

rbwaa 6 years ago

"Joyce Webb, who works with Catholic Charities' Kansas Healthy Marriage Institute, recommended SRS divert $1 million from federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to pay for a new marriage program. TANF money is earmarked for families living in poverty."

Thankfully this is the $1 million "saved" from closing all the SRS service centers...

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

So this person wants to take federal money earmarked to support poor children; feed, clothe and educate them and give it to THIS BS???? Is there a federal remedy to block this kind of travesty?

notanota 6 years ago

Who needs food and clothes when you can stay married in a toxic relationship and teach your kids how dysfunctional relationships work?

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

"McManus said in a follow-up letter to Brownback that Kansas should prohibit no-fault divorce unless there was proof of physical abuse or adultery." How does this establish "no fault"? For godssake, wouldn't proof of abuse or adultery actually establish fault? Are these people frickin' insane?

sourpuss 6 years ago

The People of Kansas -overwhelmingly- elected this governor and also elected an extremely conservative State Legislature to work with him. What is everyone complaining about? This is the will of the people. Kansans like him. He is building the kind of state they want. It's called "Democracy" and you can't save people from themselves. All you can do is move away from them.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Which is what will happen. Not only that people will refuse to move to Kansas. Businesses will refuse to move here because of this fol-de-rol. In fact, the Mars Co. may actually rethink their decision (which was initiated before BB became governor) and decide to not invest in this state. It's not out of the question. Nothing is written in stone until the building begins and even then it can still have the plug pulled on it.
I really think this state runs the risk of becoming the US equivalent of a third world country, much like Mississippi.

Jimo 6 years ago

Which is ironic seeing that it's the south that has problems with marriage.

Show me a Bible thumping state and I'll show you a state with low marriage rates and sky high divorce rates. (Exception: Book of Mormon thumping states. Must be that sacred underwear.) Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi seem to think to be locked in a constant battle for #50.

Show me a liberal, leftist, socialized state and I'll show you a state with high marriage rates and low divorce rates. This is a contest between New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In fact, the Mass. divorce rate is lower now than since any time after WWII.

Strange how that works, huh?

I don't know if there's a scientifically proven connection but if Sam was really concerned about divorce, he's institute same-sex marriage in Kansas tomorrow. It might be our only hope.

overthemoon 6 years ago

I have a sneaking suspicion that the Mars people, who are very very adverse to any publicity, are actually on a par with the Kochs in campaign donations hidden by super PAC sort of funding. Read up on them...strange family.

riverdrifter 6 years ago

Yep, I've been meaning to bring this up. They seem to be very kochheadesque.

jafs 6 years ago

Actually, about 49% of registered voters turned out, and about 2/3 of them voted for Brownback.

That means that he was elected by about 1/3 of registered voters in KS.

verity 6 years ago

Which is really, really sad. Citizens in countries where they are in actual danger of their lives turn out in higher percentages to vote than we do.

Gene Wallace 6 years ago

56 days and counting til our escape from Kansas. Sorry that "You" are losing your Stormwalker, Lawrence.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Nothin' truer, Autie. My first run in with this happened over 50 years when the pastor at my mama's church was fired for havin' an affair with the organist (and no that was for real, no pun intended). You'd think it's been going on since the beginning of time. Oh wait! It has!

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

50 years ago*. Duh. It's too early yet.

sciencegeek 6 years ago

It's good the the Topeka paper requested information about this meeting. It's suspicious, however, that this information was published over 2 months after the fact, and on a holiday weekend. I'd like to think that it was just coincidental that a potentially inflammatory piece was printed when it wouldn't get as much coverage by the newpaper founded by Mary Stauffer Brownback's grandfather.

Maybe it's just that all the other bombshells that were dropped late on Friday, preferably before a holiday weekend, that have made me so cynical. Or that getting all those people from all over the country was said to have cost "only" $13,000. Or that the first 6 months of this administration have been spent on social issues and taking away from schools and the disabled and the poor and not from those with money. Or maybe it's just that I actually read and pay attention.

God (the real one, not the one that Sam uses for political purposes) help Kansas.

LadyJ 6 years ago

Spouses who are emotional abused should be able to legally force the other to undergo therapy then. Most abusers would refuse to go, thus giving the abused spouse legal grounds for divorce without losing the kids and assets. If he/she does go but refuses to follow any advice, just going for show, the therepist could then recommend that the other spouse has grounds for divorce.

rbwaa 6 years ago

But the first rule that would be followed is that the spouse who doesn't want to be divorced is the one that gets 66% of child custody and 100% of the marital assets - and guess which one that is. Plus there wouldn't be a therapist involved, just clergy who are going to support marriage at any cost.

LadyJ 6 years ago

Anybody see the rate for spousal murders going up. What is the first thing people say, "why didn't you just get a divorce?"

northtowngrl 6 years ago

If I wanted to live by sharia law under the thumb of religious radicals I would be living in Taliban land, NOT here in the heart of the USA celebrating the freedoms of this country on this fine 4th of July day. if Brownback is such a devout Christian, maybe he should pray a little harder for the wisdom to guide this state on a path to jobs and stay the heck out of everyone else personal lives.

On another note... Big props to all those fightin' for our country (and the freedoms we seem hell bent on wasting) both here and overseas this fine day! I salute you with brews and 'cue and a wave of the flag!

Jimo 6 years ago

What? You disapprove Governor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

Just wait until the Burka Initiative is announced during the holiday season in December.

deec 6 years ago

They're easing into it slowly. Part of the new Dress Code: Skirts, Dresses, and Skirted Suits

Casual dresses and skirts, and skirts that are split at or below the knee are acceptable. Dress and skirt length should be at a length at which you can sit comfortably in public. Short, tight skirts that ride halfway up the thigh are inappropriate for work. Mini-skirts, sun dresses, beach dresses, and spaghetti-strap dresses are inappropriate for the office.

Shirts, Tops, Blouses, and Jackets

Casual shirts, dress shirts, sweaters, tops, golf-type shirts, and turtlenecks are acceptable attire for work. Most suit jackets or sport jackets are also acceptable attire for the office, if they violate none of the listed guidelines. Inappropriate attire for work includes tank tops; midriff tops; shirts with potentially offensive words, terms, logos, pictures, cartoons, or slogans; halter-tops; tops with bare shoulders; sweatshirts, and t-shirts unless worn under another blouse, shirt, jacket, or dress.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

"A group sharing marriage program ideas with Gov. Sam Brownback and state health officials includes one person who has said polygamy is more in line with core values than same-sex marriage." Hmmm. Wonder how they feel about polyandry? LOL!! Because y'know, to them "polygamy" is synonymous with polygyny.

Jimo 6 years ago

This is freaking outrageous.

Sam Brownback needs to focus on creating 100,000 jobs in Kansas before he sticks his nose into a single marriage of other people! who require not his assistance.

Jobs is Sam's job. Not marriage.

Aileen Dingus 6 years ago

I didn't vote for Brownback (whew!), but did ANYONE who voted for him see any of this sort of thing coming? Or did he turn into some sort of loon between November and January?

verity 6 years ago

No, he didn't change, he just hid his true agenda---remember the "I'll give you the details later"? But his agenda was out there for anyone who wanted to educate themselves. Too many people didn't.

Jimo 6 years ago

You don't understand how this election thing works.

For Republicans, getting elected is about running on vague bumper sticker slogans ("Live within our means!" or "We're broke") and then, if they win, treating the election as a mandate to rewrite everything. ("Well the voters clearly intended .....") Only after the election do you get any specifics, such as radical cuts to spending (end Medicare now!!), or a change in priorities (Jobs are priority #57, Abortion is #1).

It's not that Brownback wasn't asked to be specific on his priorities if elected. He just knew he didn't have to answer those questions last fall because Kansans are dim-witted sheep who'll vote for anyone who says the right vague things ("We must respect life!") no matter how mysteriously they refuse to give details.

Electoral vagueness and out-right lies are endemic to electoral systems for fixed term offices. We've got a dictator for 4 years regardless of what the peoples' will is now. In a parliamentary system, policy shell games like the Arts Commission fiasco would force new elections. Likewise, two party systems lend themselves to this sort of election vagueness whereas if government was formed by multiple parties, one of the smaller parties would quit, triggering new elections.

The fact is that the GOP realizes that they have a brief window of opportunity for a revolution. They have to lock in these programs quickly before the voters have a chance to kick them out.

KansasPerson 6 years ago

Now, now... there's no need to be insulting to loons. ;-)

Here's one.

He's wearing his "breeding plumage," which means he's getting ready to take that questionnaire before marrying his government-approved girl-loon. NOT!!!

verity 6 years ago

"Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for other faith groups, and much higher than Atheists and Agnostics experience.

George Barna, president and founder of Barna Research Group, commented: 'While it may be alarming to discover that born again Christians are more likely than others to experience a divorce, that pattern has been in place for quite some time. Even more disturbing, perhaps, is that when those individuals experience a divorce many of them feel their community of faith provides rejection rather than support and healing. But the research also raises questions regarding the effectiveness of how churches minister to families. The ultimate responsibility for a marriage belongs to the husband and wife, but the high incidence of divorce within the Christian community challenges the idea that churches provide truly practical and life-changing support for marriages.'"

Evangelical Christian congregations not affiliated with a specific denomination have the highest divorce rate. Atheists and agnostics have the lowest divorce rates.

Ron Barrier, Spokesperson for American Atheists: "Since Atheist ethics are of a higher caliber than religious morals, it stands to reason that our families would be dedicated more to each other than to some invisible monitor in the sky. With Atheism, women and men are equally responsible for a healthy marriage. There is no room in Atheist ethics for the type of 'submissive' nonsense preached by Baptists and other Christian and/or Jewish groups. Atheists reject, and rightly so, the primitive patriarchal attitudes so prevalent in many religions with respect to marriage."

evilpenguin 6 years ago

Well it's good to see we have a crazy religious nut job in office. Good job Kansas.

The government is trying to legislate your MARRIAGE!? When is it time to say enough is enough? Marriages fail for so many different reasons, I highly doubt any of the steps they want to introduce are going to cause this to decline. Especially one where you can't get a divorce for "no fault". WHAT?!! People fall out of love, people are stressed out because of a lack of jobs and having no money. Many people don't realize that marriage is such hard work, but making it difficult to marry someone or divorce them is only going to alienate the population.

If the clergy wants to introduce a 200 point checklist on church marriages, they are going to see a sharp drop in the number of people getting married there.

verity 6 years ago

"If the clergy wants to introduce a 200 point checklist on church marriages, they are going to see a sharp drop in the number of people getting married there."

Good point. I expect if this plan comes about, co-habitating without benefit of marriage will become much more widespread---I think that's called unintended consequences.

Aileen Dingus 6 years ago

...and then all benefits will be denied, because the couples aren't married.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Which may be exactly what they want, Dazie. No tax breaks for joint taxes, no paid benefits for spouses, etc. I'm sure the Kochs and the state gummint will have a field day.

Jimo 6 years ago

Which means the taxpayer will have to pick up the slack while the "spouse" keeps the bank account to themselves.

And then we can complain about spending and taxes.

jafs 6 years ago

You can marry at the city hall, and have a civil service, unless they outlaw that as well.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Not necessarily. It may mean a sharp uptick in civil courthouse marriages, though. I also think that people need to realize that, unless Brownback changes that law as well, Kansas civil marriage law states that you don't even need to have a "registered" officiant for it to be legal. Thus you can get Joe Doe off the street to officiate your marriage and it's legal. in fact, when my current husband and I married our house mate (a total lay person) officiated and his wife and my eldest daughter were our witnesses. When my second daughter married her step father (my current husband) officiated and her sister and her sister's husband were the witnesses on the marriage license. The state had no problem with either of these marriage licenses and processed and registered the marriages without any questions. Given this, a person could start advertising that they will officiate marriages for a 25$ fee (or less) and Brownie can't do squat. Well at least until he closes that loophole.

Aileen Dingus 6 years ago

After re-reading the article, I realized that Brownback himself is not the one advocating the changes in divorce proceedings, or marriage "training." So that makes it all ok, right?

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Well, no. This was a council meeting of people he hand picked and paid (with state money) to come up with these ideas.

Aileen Dingus 6 years ago

Sorry. That was supposed to be sarcastic on my part. My eye rolling must not have gone through the ether. ;)

verity 6 years ago

If Kansas was a novel, it would be reviewed as bad writing and unbelievable---sort of like Ayn Rand.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."
--John Rogers

Jimo 6 years ago

Let alone unreadable.

What do you expect from science fiction read only by fringe groups and written by a rotten soul of a being who loved money and hated God?

Should we be surprised the Mad Tea Hatters love this sick writer that usually is read only by adolescent boys who haven't yet grown up?

The right wing wasn't always nuts. National Review's original review of Atlas Shrugged vomited. Choice quote: "From almost any page…a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: 'To a gas chamber—go!'"

But in today's Republican Party, the nuts run from people handing them Bibles and reminding them that budgets are moral documents with eternal consequences for the authors' souls.

geekin_topekan 6 years ago

Mental Illness is not restricted to the poor and homeless. Some are extremely high functioning.

50YearResident 6 years ago

I could see the handwriting on the wall long before Brownback was elected govenor. His ambition is for the White House. He wanted to be President, but he is now going to settle for Vice President. He will be doing all kinds of wierd stuff to keep his name in the news, both good stuff and bad stuff, it doesn't matter. As long as he gets noticed he has a chance to be chosen. What he doesn't realize is that he will never make it to the White House and niether will the unlucky one that selects him as a running mate. So all this BS he is doing now, he will be doing for another 7 years because he won't be selected to run on a VP ticket. That means he will be here as Kansas Govenor for 2 terms before he decides he is all washed up and out of politics forever. Kansas is stuck with him for 2 terms, good luck Kansas, you will need it. P.S. I did not vote for him.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

In the print version of the paper this story is buried in the back. This should be on the front page. People need to see the real Brownback, instead of the lies.

deec 6 years ago

And all the fascists who want to make the US a plutocratic theocracy are faux christian religicons. Your point?

50YearResident 6 years ago

You saying your post is not insulting?

angie497 6 years ago

Oh, so it's not intended as an insult - I guess then it's just stupidly irrelevant?

aryastark1984 6 years ago

You also don't see anything about private gun ownership.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Oh fer godssake BAA. I know you've had TJ's letters all but read out loud to you. Give me a break! Ignorance is one thing; willful ignorance and refusal to learn quite another.

costello 6 years ago

I'm a Democrat, and I'm not an atheist. (Not sure why you capitalize the word 'atheist,' btw.)

My dad was an atheist and a life-long Republican. He died in 1993, though. The Republican party changed in his lifetime. My dad supported a woman's right to choose an abortion, for example. I don't know where he'd stand on gay marriage, but he was a pretty tolerant guy. I have a hard time imagining he'd care one way or the other.

Dad was the embodiment of the Good Samaritan, btw. He never failed to stop for people broken down on the road. One time it was a set up and the man tried to attack him on the highway. Luckily dad hadn't gotten all the way out of his car when the man tried to club him on the head. He just fell back into his seat and drove away. When he got home and told my mom, she said, "So, you're going to quit stopping for strangers, then?" (She hated it.) He said, no, he'd still help people when they needed it.

And he was an atheist.

My parents were married for 32 and a half years, btw, until my dad's death, and all of their kids were born firmly within wedlock.

xclusive85 6 years ago

Good post. One thing though, he didn't say that all democrats were atheists, but rather that it seemed all atheists were democrats.

evilpenguin 6 years ago

The atheists are the ones that can see sense, which is why they tend to support the party who also sees sense. Makes sense to me....

Scott Morgan 6 years ago

60 years ago people made mistakes and paid for it. Often using faith based support to help them put lives back on track. Today, some actually plan on the government picking up the tab. When did we change?

There are young men and women who consider SRS child welfare support as a job well done. Or, my girlie friend is living in section 8 and getting food stamps, my job is done.

Think about this, my job is done, the state is taking care of my spawn. I am a good daddy, I got my x hooked up with welfare.

I am a good mommy I stay home all day and take care of baby(ies) on welfare. Stats do not show these super moms and dads results as anything but tragic. Oh, I am a good daddy and mommy because sure as little green apples, they will make more and more.

What happened to shame?

I could care less who solves this horrid cycle our poor live. Brownback, Obama matters little, somebody needs to tackle it, or it will destroy us.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Woot! Beers all around! Fuel to post some more!

Lacy Mohler 6 years ago

From Topeka C-J: "Wade Horn, who redefined President George W. Bush's faith-based initiatives in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, preached a gospel that encouraged poor women to marry their way out of poverty."

"Horn, who resigned from HHS to take a job with Deloitte Consulting, departed the Bush administration amid reports of cronyism in awarding federal grants to the National Fatherhood Initiative he founded. According to OMB Watch, NFI received a five-year, no-bid contract for $12 million."

Misuse of Federal funds is OK if you do it in the name of the Lord.

Marrying for money hits Sam right in the old breadbasket. Where would he be w/o Stauffer Communications?

average 6 years ago

Five states with the lowest divorce rates in the US:

1) Mass. - Same-sex marriage allowed 2) Conn. - Same-sex marriage allowed 3) N.J. - Civil unions state-recognized 4) R.I. - Civil unions 5) N.Y. - Just passed gender equality in marriage

50YearResident 6 years ago

Just wait! Things are going to change with same sex mariages. Instead of just moving on, these people will have to obtain a divorce. It's like heterosexuals living togather, every thing goes fine until the wedding vows and then things turn to sh*t.

angie497 6 years ago

Why would things change? There's no reason to assume the same sex couples will divorce at a higher higher rate than male/female couples.

LadyJ 6 years ago

So they indicated polygamy might be ok, well there you go. Don't get divorced, just marry someone else, :P

Kim Murphree 6 years ago

ONLY, as long as you are the guy.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

How many republicans voted for Sam Brownback thinking he was a republican?

How many are ready for a recall?

mcontrary 6 years ago

Too bad Brownback's parents had offspring.

mcontrary 6 years ago

Too bad Brownback's parents had offspring.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Hey at least you can legally buy sex toys here! Can't do that in 'bama. If you do decide to return there, though, my husband and I are moving to Tennessee in December. Odd to think that going there will be a relief from Kansas. Look us up and we'll have a beer.

Scott Morgan 6 years ago

SilverShadow, This forum is an excellent free range of ideas. Some as I love Kansas. If I use the analogy of family.

Kansas would be the relatives who pay their bills, have good educations, not great but good education, have a good job, live in a nice home, nothing ostentatious. Kansas is often quiet, but provides excellent leadership. Kansas is full of memories, but has trouble telling others, almost shy.

In short, a place where you can live the way you like, work the job you like, actually experience life, not take a museum tour wishing and hoping against reality that someday you can have this life.

I can and have packed up and headed west just to experience the solitude and wonderment of the Great Plains when needed. Within a few hours. Also have duded up, taking in modern 5 Star dining and lodging within an hours drive.

Actually with the Legends, you can do about anything you wish in Kansas.

Did you know Kansas leads the nation in Avionics? Food production, but highly technical aviation industry thrives here.

People rip West Kansas, but Dodge City has a hot nightlife including casinos, live music, and about anything you wish. The area also has gay and lesbian organizations. Or, it can offer a wonderful quiet lifestyle.

My life partner and I headed out for a backroads end up where we end up little overnighter last Spring. Ended up in Abilene, what fun. As it happened the Mexican Restaurant at the hotel had live music. Great eats, and dancing too. Shhhhh, don't tell anybody we dance in Kansas.

Some who hate on Kansas have not noticed how far we have traveled over the past decades. I think Kansas is on the verge of a boom in the next years.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

So let's fiddle while Rome burns.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

I posted this above in a reply but think it bears repeating. I think that people need to realize that, unless Brownback changes that law as well, Kansas civil marriage law states that you don't even need to have a "registered" officiant for it to be legal. Thus you can get Joe Doe off the street to officiate your marriage and it's legal. in fact, when my current husband and I married our house mate (a total lay person) officiated and his wife and my eldest daughter were our witnesses. When my second daughter married her step father (my current husband) officiated and her sister and her sister's husband were the witnesses on the marriage license. The state had no problem with either of these marriage licenses and processed and registered the marriages without any questions. Given this, a person could start advertising that they will officiate marriages for a 25$ fee (or less) and Brownie can't do squat. Well at least until he closes that loophole.

workinghard 6 years ago

"When my second daughter married her step father (my current husband)" LOL You really had me going for a second there till I went back and read it over again. Thought we had some real drama going on there.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Yeah, I realized I skipped a comma after I posted it. Even pointed it out to my son :)

notanota 6 years ago

Ha - yeah I had to read it twice to figure out how she was marrying her housemate and her daughter was marrying her stepdad and...

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

LOL! Blame it on all of Deec's beers :)

verity 6 years ago

From the Kansas Bar Association website

"Common Law Marriages A common law marriage is a marriage by agreement of the two persons without any formal ceremony or license. A common law marriage will be recognized in Kansas if the couple considers themselves to be married and publicly holds themselves out to be married and if they are legally eligible to marry. No minimum period of cohabitation is required.

Common Law marriages are subject to the same legal obligations and privileges that apply to marriages with licenses. Once a common law marriage is established, the couple must get a court ordered divorce to terminate the marriage."

Why is most everybody paying for a license when they don't have to?

angie497 6 years ago

Because while Kansas recognizes a couple's common law marriage, other states and the federal government may not.

I've often wondered, am I the only person that wonders about the logic of a state that will legally recognize what is basically a 'because we said so' marriage, but won't allow same sex marriage? I mean, with all the ranting and raving about marriage being destroyed if same sex couples are allowed to me, doesn't common law marriage make even more of a mockery of marriage?

verity 6 years ago

From Wikipedia: Common-law marriage in the United States

"Nevertheless, all states — including those that have abolished the contract of common-law marriage within their boundaries — recognize common-law marriages lawfully contracted in those jurisdictions that permit it. . . .

"While a number of U.S. states recognize either same-sex marriage, or domestic partnerships with the same legal incidents, as marriage, no U.S. state except Iowa, where the law is untested, currently recognizes same sex common-law marriages. The Federal Defense of Marriage Act permits any state to not recognize same-sex marriages from another state, and provides that the federal government will not recognize any same-sex marriages."

There were no citations for either of these paragraphs. I do have at least three friends (couples) who were married decades ago without licenses and they have never had any problems that I know of. If you want a divorce, you have to go through the same procedure as anybody who was married with a license. I have not found any benefit of getting a license.

Scott Morgan 6 years ago

Personally, I don't a rats behind if Kansas law allowed marriages to farm animals. Well, as long as all parties are consenting.

How big a problem is this who can and who can't? I do care when retirement funds, and benefit packages are swindled by those who mock marriage.

I do care when subcultures believe the American dream is watching Oprah while being fully supported by nannie government. I do care when we have 8th graders who due to this odd support system have not a chance at breaking the cycle.

jafs 6 years ago

Retirement funds and benefit packages have been "swindled" by the Republican legislature - I doubt they're the ones "mocking" marriage.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

As far as "marriage guidance from ministers, pastors and clergy" is concerned; I have been married three times. I have only been divorced once, from my second husband. My first husband died when I was in my early thirties and I am currently married (going on 13 years) to my third. The one and only time I was divorced I did so for my husband's blatant infidelity; a long term affair that had been going on for months before I found out about it. When I found out about the infidelity I was crushed beyond belief. This person that I was married to and trusted with my very life had betrayed that trust in what I considered the most horrible way possible. In my overwhelming grief and hurt I turned to a person I thought I could trust; a Baptist minister at a church I was a member of and my family had been attending for years. (In fact this minister officiated at the funerals of both of my parents.) Despite the fact that I was crying and obviously overwhelmed with grief, I have never been ushered out of an office so fast in my life. This "minister" flatly refused to deal with it and told me to get "professional help". There wasn't even the semblance of prayer or any attempt made to give me comfort, much less guidance. What did this teach me? That ministers don't really care. In the end I did get professional guidance. In the form of an attorney.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Oh and by the way (on a roll here) Kansas still recognizes "common law marriage", one of the few states in the US that does. Have people forgotten all of those "weddings" that took place in our own Lawrence post office on tax day when unmarried couples filed joint tax returns? Just what does Brownie propose to do about that?

LadyJ 6 years ago

Married by Justice of the Peace, thirty seconds, coming up on 27 yrs.

Kim Murphree 6 years ago

Yep, here we go...I remember travelling to Ireland once upon a time in the 80's where women were protesting with chains wrapped around them. They could not get a divorce even though their husbands abused them or had left them and their children--same for men whose wives had left them and they could not remarry because there was no divorce. Is that how you want to live your lives???? Shouldn't marriage and divorce be up to the couple involved? Is this LESS government? Is this Brownback with the Taliban?

verity 6 years ago

So how are we going to fight this?

It seems to me that the laws of Kansas have made it well-nigh impossible to recall a governor and the result would be either the lt. gov. or another Republican in that office.

I think the conversations on these boards show that a lot of people think that everything Brownback has done since assuming office is detrimental to Kansas and leading both to a very repressive theocracy and to economic disaster.

Let's have a conversation on what can be done to fight this. Direct our anger towards doing something positive.

Kim Murphree 6 years ago

Elect Tom Sloan for Governor. He's a Republican but a moderate.

verity 6 years ago

I can only hope that it's not too late. I'm just disappointed that no one is coming up with any ideas.

I have to disagree with you about religious organizations helping out. Many do a great deal, but they can only do so much. They can't solve all our social ills and shouldn't be expected to. They are also dealing with less money and more need and certainly not all are involved in politics. Why should religious organizations be expected to do what our whole society needs to do? And in the case of Brownback, it seems to be that religion is what is causing our problems.

Also you talk about weeding out the fraud. I've known of people going from church to church to get duplicate free stuff. Without a central clearing organization, this is even harder to detect or to know if people are truly in need.

verity 6 years ago

Sorry, Vocal did come up with an idea, but it's over three years away. We need something we can do right now.

whats_going_on 6 years ago

let me guess, the #1 item on this 200 item inventory is the...wait for :-\

MyName 6 years ago

Wohoo! Let's distract people with another BS Social issue so they don't notice that they're paying the same amount to get crappier government that only cares about wealthy business owners.

verity 6 years ago

Wow, tange, I understand what you said and agree completely.

verity 6 years ago

So now you're trying to walk back because I agree with you? Or because I understood you?

notaubermime 6 years ago

Left Kansas 4 years ago and now live in New York. Took a long while to be comfortable with the decision to leave behind a state I lived in for 25 years as well as most of my family.

I've felt a lot more comfortable since Brownback took office.

Katie Dennis 6 years ago

What?! This is completely bonkers! So the GOP wants small government, they want to keep government out of the health care system, but this is okay! Seriously! Does anyone else find this appalling?!

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