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Archive for Saturday, August 25, 2012

Kansas cities may vote on nondiscrimination laws

August 25, 2012

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HUTCHINSON — Petitions opposing new non-discrimination ordinances have been certified in Salina and Hutchinson, possibly giving voters in both cities a chance to decide whether to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

In Hutchinson, however, a competing petition seeking to expand that city’s non-discrimination ordinance also has been certified, The Hutchinson News reported. That petition, sponsored by the Kansas Equality Coalition, wants to replace the non-discrimination ordinance approved by the city council on June 5 with language giving gay, lesbian and bisexual people full protection from discrimination in all matters of employment, housing and public accommodations.

The current ordinance only provides protection against firing from a job or eviction from a home because of a person’s sexual orientation.

The competing petition is sponsored by Awaken Hutchinson and the Kansas Family Policy Council and seeks to have the ordinance repealed.

Hutchinson City Manager John Deardoff said the City Council will consider the petitions Sept. 4. The council can either adopt the changes, which would conflict with each other, or agree to put the issue to a public vote within another 90 days, which would make be enough time for the November general election ballot.

In Salina, Saline County Clerk Don Merriman said Thursday that opponents have gathered enough signatures for the city to reconsider a Salina ordinance prohibiting discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity. The ordinance protects people from discrimination in housing, public accommodations and employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It went into effect June 4, according to The Salina Journal.

The Salina petition now has to go before the city commission in the next 20 days. If commissioners reject it, the effort to repeal the ordinance will go before voters in the next 90 days.

Salina resident Sid Rich, who turned in the petitions, said he was grateful people took the time to sign them.

“I am confident, when it comes to a vote, it will be repealed,” he said.

Gary Martens, chair of the north-central Kansas chapter of the Kansas Equality Coalition, was disappointed by the petition effort, but said he was “still l confident the citizens of Salina will vote against legalizing discrimination of any kind.”

Comments

skull 2 years, 3 months ago

Legalize discrimination for a better tomorrow!

KS 2 years, 3 months ago

Oh, good grief! Of all the problems in our country and this sort of thing rises to the top, in the middle of Kansas. Not the place to pick a fight on this one. Pretty conservative folks out there.

christy kennedy 2 years, 3 months ago

"This is why your Constitution wants to protect minorities from the tyranny of majority rule by suggesting that certain rights are inalienable. Because every time you put questions to a vote where the majority is against a minority’s rights, the minority loses. Because it’s a minority. It’s a simple matter of math."—Rachel Maddow

Yes, duh, protecting the civil rights of those with differing gender preference and sexual orientations was not in the Constitution. Back then they didn't see fit to provide civil rights to slaves either.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

We've come a long way, baby.

And this is no time to take a step back.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 3 months ago

Ain't it great. I buy a rental house and the government tells me who or what I can rent it to, taxes me on the income, and wants to fine me if I choose to ask a renter to move...

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

"Who or what" you may rent to. "What" as in denying a person their very humanity. Paying taxes is the least of your problems.

Peter Macfarlane 2 years, 3 months ago

So, the money you get from renting to gay, lesbian, and transgender folks is not worth as much as the same money you would get from straight folks? The point is: sure you have a right to choose who to rent to but if that choice is based on race, religion, or sexual orientation then there is something fundamentally prejudiced (that is to say, pre-judged) and nobody should have to put up with that. Face it: it's not about the money, it's all about you and how perceive others. Just another of our open-minded Kansans doing what they can to life better for everybody.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 3 months ago

Dowser - substitute KKK member in your question and how would you answer? Can you honestly tell me if you had to choose between renting to a gay person and a KKK person you would not be biased in your decision and choose the KKK person over the gay person?

paulveer 2 years, 3 months ago

No comparison, fred. The KKK is not a protected group. Would you like them to be?

Fred Mertz 2 years, 3 months ago

No comparison was trying to be made. The point is one I've made all along - we all discriminate.

But to you point, I don't believe that something has to be illegal to make it wrong. Gays are not a protected class everywhere but discriminating against them is the same issue regardless of the law but I guess wel will just have to agree to disagree on that one.

paulveer 2 years, 2 months ago

I'm not quite sure where we disagree, but I think you pin to much emphasis on the word "discriminate." Yes, we all discriminate. That only means we make judgements.
The word has come to be used in terms of unjust social discrimination. As I think you have said, even social discrimination is fit and necessary, as we navigate our way through society.

But, our society has decided (and is deciding) that discrimination for certain reasons (race, religion, etc.) is unjust, and has made laws to stop it. These things were always wrong, but people kept doing them anyway, until they were stopped by force of law. So we started eliminating such practices one by one. If it's not on the list yet, it may be legal, but still unjust. When it is added to the list, it is as unjust as it always was, but now also illegal, so it will decrease. Groups get added to the list over time, as the general public gains awareness of the impact on a particular group due to severity of the impact, and/or the numbers of victims. When the public has seen enough of it, it gets added, in due course, to the list.

headdoctor 2 years, 3 months ago

Well yeah. Not that much has changed since the 1968 Fair Housing Act. Where have you been all this time? There are some cases where you can discriminate but if you do you had better treat all your tenants in the same fashion. There are some cities that have more restrictive laws.

If your tenant is paying the rent, not tearing up the property, and not bothering their neighbors, why should you care who they are, what or who they do as long as they are abiding by Federal, State, and local laws? If you are in the business to make money it seems kind of stupid to leave a property un-rented just because you don't like what they are or who they do.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 3 months ago

You just don't get it. I could give a poo less if my renters didn't get a round mouth from eating square meals. I do have a huge problem with legislating morality as what ever fringe group sees fit.

headdoctor 2 years, 3 months ago

ROFLMAO. You are comedy gold. I suppose in your mind laws against rape, murder, theft, etc isn't legislating morality?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

Then go live in any society you choose to live in. Any society that more closely meets your philosophy. But if you choose to live in this society, then you need to conform to the rules and regulations of this society. You may think whatever you choose, but you may not act in any way you choose. You may even think that legislating morality is wrong. Think whatever you choose. But behave as a member of this society.

George_Braziller 2 years, 3 months ago

The ordinances just say "sexual orientation" not gay or lesbian. Repealing it means that a gay boss or lesbian landlord could fire you or evict you for being heterosexual. It's not about legislating "morality" it's about equal rights for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation.

tomatogrower 2 years, 3 months ago

Dear can't, Your choice. Rent to a married couple who aren't paying their rent an are tearing up the house or rent to a gay couple who always pay rent and actually fix things instead of calling you all the time? Any real business person would choose the gay couple. Any bigot would choose the first.

When I was in my early 20's in Ottawa, a landlord refused to rent to me, because I was a divorced woman, and she knew I would have wild sex parties. I should have gotten the ACLU involved, but I got my revenge. She rented to a bunch of college boys. Good college boys going to a good Baptist college. There was a beer party there every weekend. Probably sex too. I didn't know for sure, because I had to work to pay for rent and raise my child. The only reason I knew about the parties, is driving by and seeing all the trash and beer can in the yard. Aww, bigots always get their due, sometimes you don't need to sue. I did feel bad for the house though. It was a beautiful house near a park.

Kirk Larson 2 years, 3 months ago

As I read it, once you have entered into a rental agreement, you can not break that agreement on the basis of the renter's sexual orientation alone. That just makes their rights equal to heterosexuals'.

George_Braziller 2 years, 2 months ago

Some leases are month to month. I had one of those for 7 1/2 years. My former neighbor had one like that for 19 years.

Kirk Larson 2 years, 2 months ago

That has no bearing on my point. Month to month or ten years, the lease is a binding contract on both parties.

Thomas Bryce 2 years, 3 months ago

Amazing! Our Law makers would rather spend time on social issues than problems with the economy and jobs here in Kansas.Guess that proves that they have no idea what to do about REAL problems in this state.Legalize Discrimination?"Now, there is something we can do about THAT". They are taking our country Back alright. About 50 years BACKward.

Greg Cooper 2 years, 3 months ago

Uh, the petitions were brought to the various governmental entities by citizens. Do you deny the right and responsibility of the citizens to focus their lawmakers' attention on items important to them?

Thomas Bryce 2 years, 3 months ago

Sad to think that Discrimination for any reason is important to them.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 3 months ago

If you are dependent upon another for something then it isn't a right. A right comes from Nature or God depending on your outlook. Freedom and liberty are rights. I need no one to give them to me. Property rights too. But the notion that I be accepted or that the government can make someone else rent their property to me or employ me is wrong.

And yes, I know people will say so can I not rent to a black person. Well the answer is the law prohibits it but yes, the government should not be dictating morality and taking control over one's property.

So many scream about the women's right to control her body well that same argument also applies to property.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

"So many scream about the women's right to control her body well that same argument also applies to property."

That's ridiculous. Property rights are an abstraction-- your property is not a part of your person, or even an extension of your person. Such is not the case with a woman's body.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

Your rights or freedoms may come from God or nature, but without someone there to protect them for you, they won't last very long. That's where civilization comes in. While you accept the protections afforded you, you must accept the compromises that are sometimes imposed upon you. It's a fair exchange.

Property rights are not nor should they be absolute. You may not discriminate in renting to a minority any more than you may build a nuclear bomb in your basement. Should these compromises become too burdensome, and should you live in a civilization that allows you to leave those burdens behind (you do), then your option is to find that civilization that allows you to discriminate, or allows you to build nuclear weapons in your basement. You may choose any civilization that most closely meets your ideals. But I'm fairly certain that all will come with some level of compromise.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 3 months ago

No right is absolute and yes some compromise is required. The question is where that line of compromise is to be set?

Funny that you only offer moving as an alternative to compromises that are too burdensome. The other option and one that you are seeing in action is to work within the system to change it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

So, do you think when a landlord hands a prospective tenant an application, they should be able to include a question about what sort of sexual acts they like to perform? What political party they belong to? What their religion is?

Fred Mertz 2 years, 3 months ago

I wouldn't if I were the landlord but I would legislate against it. And for the record I would not discriminate against a person based on race gender sexual orientation etc. I would discriminate against people who have bad credit records.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

I have no problem with you working within the system to change it in any way you want. But in this case, you're probably talking about a constitutional amendment. Go ahead. Knock yourself out.

But until you succeed, you must follow the established rules of this society. And should you succeed, then you may, at your discretion, say the same to me. Offer me the opportunity to leave, or change the system from within.

tomatogrower 2 years, 3 months ago

Property rights are defined by government and civilization, not God.

tomatogrower 2 years, 3 months ago

That is pretty moronic, snap. I could care less what you do in your private life. I would even rent to your, if you paid your bills and didn't trash my place. I would even let you work for me. Can you say the same? Probably not.

voevoda 2 years, 3 months ago

There are many people who consider a community in which people have both homosexual and heterosexual relationships to be normal, Cant_have_it_both_ways. One way in which to determine whether this state is one one of them is through referendums of this sort. Renting houses to gay people or employing them in your business doesn't expose your children to "deviants" because I assume that the gay people wouldn't be engaging in sex on the front lawn or on the job (unless you've got that sort of business). As for displaying affection, well, there are plenty of people who don't like it when heterosexual couples do it, either, especially in front of children.
I don't know of any religious commandment that demands that adherents refrain from renting to gays or refrain from hiring them. Maybe your religion commands you to refrain from that sort of activity; if so, it's up to you whether you choose to obey it. Unless you're going to claim that property and business owners ought to exclude people who commit any sins at all (what about keeping the Sabbath? or coveting?--both of them made it into the Ten Commandments, and homosexuality didn't), there is no good reason for you to single out homosexuality, unless you're defending bigotry.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 3 months ago

And the parade of facists continues. Ever wonder how we get these Republicans in Kansas? It is the prejudiced, bigoted, ignorant and religion soaked minions of the Koch Family Admiration Society that infects this state. Brownback and Kobach and their phony religion stances, rural residents of Pomona and such, and just plain angry and stupid people who simplly cannot accept reality and choose to follow the falsehoods and agendas of the Religious Reich that the Republicans wish to extablish in bleeding Kansas. My "god" can kick your "god's" ass is the trumpet tune of the bigots of rural Kansas.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 3 months ago

I wonder if the day will come that you get sued because you don't have or like black dogs?

Jez...people, make your own breaks in life. Quit looking over your shoulder crying because your day did not go as good as you wanted. Why in the world would you even want to be around a job or landlord that does not like you for what ever reason. Put on your big girl pants and move on down the road and find someone that does. Don't cry to the courts because you did not get your way.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

With jerks blocking the road at every turn, moving down the road in big-girl or any other kind of pants is nearly impossible.

You obviously side with the jerks. Other people, not so much.

tomatogrower 2 years, 3 months ago

So you are saying I have a right to tell my workers that they aren't allowed to attend a Christian church on Sunday, their day off? And they better never pray, or I'll fire them? Do I have a right to tell my workers that they are not allowed to eat garbanzo beans? Maybe they should just come to me and get approval for everything they do in their private lives. Once you allow discrimination, then you have to allow it both ways. Right? Why is it anyones business what other people do in their bedrooms? If the rent is paid and the place is cared for, why is it a landlord's business to dictate what goes on in the renter's private life? If my workers come to work on time and do a good job, I could care less what they do away from work, as long as it's legal. MYOB - Mind your own business.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 3 months ago

Tomato - do you discriminate? I bet you do and I bet you would condone it under certain circumstances.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 3 months ago

i think I shouldn't have to rent or employ a convicted rapist , child molester or white supremniast

How about you - these people your cup of tea?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

None of the characteristics you list is even remotely comparable to someone's being gay, or black, or catholic, or transgendered, etc.

Regardless, those people have to live somewhere-- where do you suggest they go?

headdoctor 2 years, 3 months ago

Those examples are not even valid. A landlord isn't ordered by law to rent to any of those three choices. At the very least the first two examples may be limited by the location of your property in relation to schools or kids in the neighborhoods, etc.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 3 months ago

So it is okay to discriminate if not against the law. So in cities without sexual orientation laws you'd support the discrimination against gays?

Would you be okay to protect the rapist or white supremniast by law? If not why not?

voevoda 2 years, 2 months ago

Convicted rapists, child molesters, and white supremacists all would have police records. A police record speaks to dangerous behavior, and it is completely legitimate for landlords not to rent to someone because of a police record, and for employers not to hire criminals. Gays haven't broken the law.

tomatogrower 2 years, 3 months ago

The only employees I discriminate against are those who don't do the job for which I hired them. If I owned an apartment or house, the only renters I would discriminate against would be those who don't pay their rent or tear up my property. I guess I do discriminate, Freddie.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 3 months ago

Tomato, they are afraid that if they recognize gay people that their imaginary sky god will strike them blind. You gotta watch out for those imaginary sky gods!!

headdoctor 2 years, 3 months ago

Good point. Why would anyone want to rent from a jerk landlord. The best of both worlds would be getting him a hefty Government fine then live somewhere else. If the landlord is that big of a jerk they probably are not worth renting from anyway. Unfortunately there are parts of the country and cases involving block busting where there may be no options. If people aren't allowed to buy a house when they need one where are they suppose to live?

Fred Mertz 2 years, 3 months ago

Unless you can say you don't discriminate against anyone for any reason or have any biases you can't attack others for doing the same without being hypocritical.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

While determining what forms of discrimination are OK, and which are not, isn't easy, to say that all forms of discrimination are the same is just intellectually lazy.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 3 months ago

Ah but bozo you just hit the issue right on the head. Discrimination is acceptable but defining what is good discrimination and what is bad is the problem and precisely what these communities are doing. So the message should not be you are bad for discriminating against someone I just disagree with it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

Everyone is going to have their own value judgements. A black person who can't get an apartment simply because they are black will see those who discriminate against them as "bad," and given the extreme negative effects that can have on that person's life, can you really blame them?

Fred Mertz 2 years, 3 months ago

No I don't blame them and I would side with them. Years ago I took a lot of heat for renting to a black woman. I want my rights to be protected so I will stand for the rights of others even when I disagree with them.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

No, that's not really true. Unless you can say that while you discriminate, you're unwilling to suffer the consequences, then you're the hypocrite.

Really, Fred, I have no problem with you discriminating against various peoples. And I have no problem with the government fining your business out the wazoo. And should you be found in contempt of court, I have no problem with the courts sending your butt to jail. Of course, should that happen, then your housing situation and homosexuality might be staring at each other from a very short distance. Sooo eee.

headdoctor 2 years, 3 months ago

Fred, your obvious efforts at trolling are noted. If I were you I wouldn't give up my day job.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 3 months ago

Head I will play along. How am I trolling? Since when is pointing out the hypocrisy of an argument without attacking anyone considered trolling?

Perhaps you can't defeat the logic of my point so you attack me instead?

Fred Mertz 2 years, 3 months ago

So who gets to decide what measure you're using to discriminate? If the people vote that it is okay to discriminate against gays then are you okay with it? Most likely not so there is no true measure applicable to all situations.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 3 months ago

Example of the typical liberal when they run out of justifications for a twisted idea, resort to some type of name calling... in this case "Troll".

Fred Mertz 2 years, 3 months ago

To someone wondering why I might take the position that I do let me explain. I don't want the government dictating my behavior. As long as I don't harm someone or infringe upon their exercise of their rights the government should keep its nose out of my life.

This goes for the GOP who wants to legislate their own brand of morality. Keep your nose out of my life and my bedroom.

Unless you can prove scientifically that a fetus is a viable baby then government should not legislate how the woman deals with the pregnancy.

Unless the govern,ent can prove that same sex marriages are somehow harmful they should perform them or get out of the marriage business.

I am pretty consistent in my views. Government should stay out of our lives except to protect tem or our rights. The question today is does someone have a right to rent a private property?

Fred Mertz 2 years, 3 months ago

vertigo, where in the constitution does it say that someone has the right to rent someone elses property?

JackMcKee 2 years, 3 months ago

It really might be time to leave Kansas.

blindrabbit 2 years, 3 months ago

Kansas, a State in transition, not knowing which way to go, on the cusp of unimportance. Just read a article in Forbes Magazine discussing the 10 most optimistic states and how they are the one's to be located in for the future. Seven of the 10 form a contiguous band Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa; the remaining being Hawaii, Maryland and Virginia. Forbes also lists the most depressed 10 states (implying being not to be located there), they also forming a band Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Ternnessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and our buddy to the east, Missouri, can't remember the 10th. Kansas, sandwiched between these two groups used to be capable of being in the "good" 10, but with the drift to the far right, adoption of more bigoted ideas, Kansas is becoming a more likely candidate for the "bad" 10. Amazing to me how much this state has drifted from the fairly progressive, optimistic place it used to be..

verity 2 years, 3 months ago

Damn it all, I agree with everything jhawkinsf said today. Either it's a very good day or a very bad day, I can't decide which.

It rained, so I'll go with good.

Thomas Bryce 2 years, 3 months ago

Imagine a time in the not so distant future when you drive into a city, town or municipality in Kansas that has a" Welcome" sign to all visitors Except for the list of groups or minorities the people of this area have voted to not extend rights to. This is the way we are going if something doesn't change soon. Where is the Love and Tolerance I was taught about while growing up as a Christian?

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