Archive for Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Statehouse Live: Kobach says he didn’t equate homosexuality with criminal behavior

August 28, 2012


— Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Tuesday said he didn't compare homosexuality with criminal behavior during a discussion of a Republican Party platform committee.

"I didn't in any way equate homosexuality with drug use or polygamy," said Kobach.

Last week, at the Republican National Convention platform committee meeting in Tampa, Fla., Kobach argued against an amendment to the GOP's party platform that would have backed same-sex civil unions.

A part of the proposal that Kobach said he was arguing against said that government shouldn't criticize something that doesn't affect another person.

Kobach said that isn't true. For example, he noted, that government criminalizes drug use and polygamy. "We condemn those activities even though they are not hurting other people, at least directly. So this is worded way too broadly for inclusion in the platform,” Kobach had said.

Kobach said he was arguing against the broadness of the proposal. He said he was not equating homosexuality with either drug use or polygamy.


Glenn Reed 5 years, 9 months ago



Who was talking at the RNC?

Frank A Janzen 5 years, 9 months ago

Here's the video clip from the convention.

Here's what Kobach said. “I oppose this amendment, I think the wording is too broad. Especially the last sentence: ‘As long as there are no infringements on the rights of others, It is not the role of government to judge.’ Well, our government routinely judges situations where you might regard people completely affecting themselves like, for example, the use of controlled substances, like, for example, polygamy that is voluntarily entered into. We condemn those activities even though they’re not hurting other people, at least directly.”

Glenn Reed 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm aware of what he said, Frank.

The reason people were focusing on it being yet another GOP sponsored anti-gay thing is because that "last sentence" would have given them a directive to stay out of people's homes and lives.

A common piece of rhetoric for gay rights folks is that gay people don't hurt anyone.

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

Warren Jeffs also made the claim that polygamy was voluntarily entered into ... just before he was put in prison.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

My complaint with Warren Jeffs is that he advocated marriages between middle-aged men and adolescent girls.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

And, guys who rape women claim the women wanted it.

That doesn't mean that sex should be illegal.

1southernjayhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

Simply another case of Rothschild drawing his own conclusions and presenting them as fact. Rothschild is as biased as they come and I read every line printed under his name as fiction.

UltimateGrownup 5 years, 9 months ago

Right on, SouthernJayhawk. This story is a trail of absurdities, starting with the idea of dudes marrying dudes, then focusing a story on what someone didn't say and then ignoring the fact that homosexuality is illegal in Kansas, assuming one is literate enough to understand that the Supreme Court is not empowered by the Constitution to pass national legislation.

deec 5 years, 9 months ago

Homosexuality is not illegal in Kansas or anywhere else in the United States.

UltimateGrownup 5 years, 9 months ago Here's the link, Markoo. Sodomy is illegal in Kansas. Yes, I'm aware of the "Lawrence v. Texas" effort by the Supreme Court to pass national legislation to legalize sodomy, but as all literate people know, the Constitution does not give the Supreme Court the right to pass legislation. The Supreme Court could order all Norwegians to move to the moon. This would have no more legal standing than "Lawrence v. Texas."

UltimateGrownup 5 years, 9 months ago

As a reminder, "judicial review" is not covered in the Constitution. The Supreme Court seems to have snatched this power, much as the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917. Having seized it, they've gone hog wild with it, passing legislation at will, such as the law legalizing sodomy, a law banning the banning of abortions, and many others. Apparently, you've fallen for their ruse. They wear black robes and speak about legislation using vocabulary from law school. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.

fiddleback 5 years, 9 months ago

Wow, the "UltimateGrownup" not only rejects the concept of judicial review, he really drives it home with this down-home straight talk:

"They wear black robes and speak about legislation using vocabulary from law school. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig."

Damn straight. Fancy judges with their law school book-learnin and putting lipstick on pigs. Shameful is what it is.

fiddleback 5 years, 9 months ago

Hilarious. Again, y'all should really look into this Dunning-Kruger effect:

"southernjayhawk" is an amusing oxymoron, historically speaking, as the original Jayhawks were anti-Southern abolitionists, many from the northeast.

"UltimateGrownup" -- are you referring to the anti-sodomy laws still on the books? Hate to break it to you, but those aren't enforced, hence homosexuality is not illegal. But I do give you points for moronic swagger and word choice of "dudes marrying dudes..." You definitely sound like the pinnacle of adulthood and not a fifth-year frat guy drowning those last few brain cells in Natty Light.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

But what wording did KK propose in its place? Is there anything in the platform about recognizing civil unions for gays?

littlexav 5 years, 9 months ago

A separate platform statement passed by the same committee (I don't know whether any of the actual full-body voting has occurred yet at the Convention) explicitly denies any support for gay marriage or civil unions.

Steve Bunch 5 years, 9 months ago

The majority of Kansans and Americans are morons. Most of them are nice enough, but they believe what they want to believe and don't care much for facts and reason. I wish it were otherwise, but we live in a moronocracy, manipulated by the mean and mendacious.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 9 months ago


FOX averages 1,942,000 viewers. Even assuming that 3 times as many as that watch FOX in total (which is actually a high assumption), that's only 5,826,000 viewers.

If those viewers constitute "the majority of real Americans", then that means that there are actually no more than 11,651,999 "real Americans"...out of a total population of 311,600,000.

And that that means that "real Americans" constitute less than 4% of the entire US population! Is that truly what you mean to be claiming???

globehead 5 years, 9 months ago

The majority of people do not watch FOX by any stretch. It's not even close. Each of the broadcast news entities beat FOX like a drum. They do so individually by almost 3 to 1 each. Combined, the three completely wash away FOX's numbers. Combined, that's 9 to 1. Fox leads the other 2 major cable news networks (CNN & MSNBC). That is what they hang their hat on. The conveniently don't compare their numbers to broadcast outlets. In prime time viewing, FOX accounts for about 20% of the viewing of major cable & broadcast news combined, a far far cry from a majority of anything.

nondescript 5 years, 9 months ago

I told you so. From my comment placed on the earlier story:

"He did NOT equate them, he COMPARED some examples. There is a difference, people.

The Journal World / Rothschild are really stretching to make Kobach look bad because they don't agree with him. Typical."

...and KansasConscience above is absolutely right: 'No retraction statement. No correction statement. Simply Kobach saying, "I didn't say that." '

This "reporting" methodology is indeed a good way to unfairly smear a public figure. Take note Jayhawk Journalism students!

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 9 months ago

1 - there is no difference. From Webster's "to treat, represent, or regard as equal, equivalent, or comparable"

2 - Why would Kobach claim he didn't say it? Because he doesn't believe it?

See, he does believe it. And so do most of the folks griping about slanted journalism. How does it make Kobach look bad to report what he believes? Why does it matter whether or not you agree with Kobach?

It is one thing to distort. There is no distortion here -- Kris Kobach believes homosexuality is an aberrant behavior that should not be condoned by law, like drug use or polygamy. Take some pride in your beliefs, Kris. Don't run away from your principles!

fiddleback 5 years, 9 months ago

nondescript, maybe you should propose an alternative "non-smearing" headline. Many around here would prefer that there was no story at all, but given that this is our own Kansas official helping argue against a national-level proposal that would endorse basic property and visitation rights for same-sex couples, I do find it newsworthy. Again, these are real rights being discussed, not abstractions. My headline would be more general, i.e. "Kobach Speaks Out Against Civil Unions as Part of GOP Plank."

While I can agree that Rothschild's headline was too sensationalist, I ultimately find Kobach's follow-up to be making a distinction without a meaningful difference. He used illegal drug use and polygamy as examples of behaviors generally affecting only the practitioners, yet still condemned by the state. That does still imply that he views what homosexuals do in the bedroom as destructive to society as people smoking crack or taking multiple wives. So the compartmentalization that he's claiming simply doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

nondescript 5 years, 9 months ago

I like your headline fiddleback. People needn't smear to disagree. Are you listening Rothschild?

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

Please - this is a minor correction to the story.

He said that he opposed keeping the government out of our business unless we infringe on the rights of others, a classically conservative stance.

And, he used the examples of drug use and polygamy as examples of how the government "condemns" activities that don't harm others, as part of a discussion about same sex unions.

Fossick 5 years, 9 months ago

It's actually a pretty major correction, since the original story was headlined "Kobach likens same-sex unions to drug abuse." Either he "likened" (to see or represent as the same or similar) it or he didn't. The other story said he did - even though he never said "drug abuse" - this one says he didn't. Big difference.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

I think it's rather minor.

And, let's not forget the point, which is that Kobach, a self proclaimed "conservative" likes the idea of government involving itself in personal choices that don't infringe on anybody else's rights or harm other people.

Fossick 5 years, 9 months ago

I get the point, and I disagree with it and him. But the sad truth is that the point is endemic to modern politics on both sides. Conservatives have always wanted to tell people what to do just like liberals have. Politicians seek power because they want to tell people what to do. This is hardly a revelation, and it is certainly not the source of the howls of outrage on the original thread. Scott's incorrect assertion that Kobach was likening gays to drug abusers was the source.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

Even though he didn't do that directly, he did it indirectly.

By placing them all in a category of things that don't harm people that government "condemns", even though they harm nobody else and infringe on nobody else's rights.

And, of course, by backing a platform and legislation that outlaws same sex marriage, thus making it illegal, as drug use and polygamy are.

parrothead8 5 years, 9 months ago

It sure looked like him. Maybe we should ask to see his ID before each time he's allowed to speak in public.

Orwell 5 years, 9 months ago

ID's can be forged. I want to see his manufacturer's warranty.

Glenn Reed 5 years, 9 months ago

Kobach didn't say that... fair enough I guess.... Feels like he had an opportunity to say SOMETHING about it now, though. Does he feel being gay is one of the things government should condemn? Unless he specifically states otherwise I'm going to go with the default republican position.

Being anti-gay is a plank, official or otherwise, in the republican platform. None of that is entirely relevant to the argument, really...

The operative phrase is "We condemn those activities even though they are not hurting other people..."

That's really the point the whole argument is spinning around. I say "spinning around" because everyone's focused the gay thing.

There's a lot of activities in the set of activities that the state (currently and may want in the future) condemn:

Speaking the truth. Being homosexual. Having multiple partners. Eating candy. Having firearms. Not having firearms. Having fireworks. Studying science. Teaching children science. Smoking pot. Drinking alcohol. Being open too late on a particular day. Reading the wrong books. Being pregnant. Not being pregnant. Not being married. Getting needed medical care. Leaving your home without an escort. Driving. Working. Having too many kids. Not going to church. Going to the wrong church. Blasphemy.

It's a short list, but really, the set of activities is pretty much endless.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years, 9 months ago

When you bumble in to talk, campaign and think violently to stir up the lower dregs of society, your value increases in your master's eyes, sycophant. You are the very model of a modern (band) major, generally speaking.

hyperinflate 5 years, 9 months ago

"I dummified this post with redneck talk so ya could understand it"

Hardly. Except for the arguably "made up" word dummified, everything appears to be spelled correctly and there is proper grammatical structure. How you 'spose they's gonna understand this?

Corey Williams 5 years, 9 months ago


Source: I have family in south east kansas

notaubermime 5 years, 9 months ago

In all fairness, Rothschild's other article didn't claim he equated homosexuality with drug abuse. It claimed that he equated same-sex unions with drug abuse.

Maybe it is time to start equating the quality of Rothschild's articles with drug abuse...

Fossick 5 years, 9 months ago

Kobach didn't even say "drug abuse," he said "the use of controlled substances," which besides being the definitional redundancy of the day, does not even carry a moral stigma. The government controls the use of controlled substances, but people are free to use them within legal limits without approbation.

What he was protecting was the right of government in its manifest wisdom to tell you what to do, which is something that even the most extreme Kobach haters, in their very heart of hearts, willingly accept. They don't deny that the government should tell you what to do, they merely disagree with what Kobach thinks the government should tell you to do.

notaubermime 5 years, 9 months ago

You are correct. However, I was merely pointing out the inconsistency of Rothschild's own claims of what Kobach said. At this point, Rothschild is not just being inaccurate in reporting what Kobach said, he is also being inaccurate in his reporting of what his own articles said.

Fossick 5 years, 9 months ago

jafs: " a self proclaimed 'conservative' likes the idea of government involving itself in personal choices"

I suspect that you are confusing "conservative" and "libertarian." Conservatives do not deny that the government ought to involve itself in personal choices. They never have. They want you to marry and stay married. They want you to stay off drugs and buckle your seat belt and give to charity. They are masters of making the criminal and tax codes push you into those things. They have never demanded that the government excise itself from "personal choices." They have no more intention of letting you alone than do liberals.

Those who assert that they do - and unfortunately I have to include you here, jafs - are fighting a straw man of their own creation. The Conservatives are not hypocritical on this point, they are what they are: progressives (in the original sense) who are perfectly willing to use the power of government to impose their version of the good life by coercion. The main reason I am a libertarian (small l) and not a conservative is this very reason.

You act surprised and even appalled that a conservative wants to use the power of government to impose a vision of society on society. I don't mean to sound pedantic, but Duh, that's what they are running for office to do. They have never hidden that fact.

Kobach is not so much expressing a desire as a fact when he says, "government routinely judges situations where you might regard people completely affecting themselves like, for example, the use of controlled substances, like, for example, polygamy that is voluntarily entered into. We condemn those activities even though they’re not hurting other people, at least directly."

Like it or not, government does those things every day. The fact is inarguable. But it does not do so just because of Conservatives.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

Well, I suppose that there's a difference between classical conservatism, which does indeed suggest smaller, less intrusive government, and what passes for "conservative" these days.

And, I'm not surprised or even appalled, I just think it's worth noting, since "conservatives" routinely rail against "liberals" for wanting the government to be involved in our personal lives and choices.

So, it is actually rather hypocritical of them to do so, ignoring the fact that they themselves are all for that, in many ways.

Liberals are at least honest about their desire for government to be involved in those, for the most part - they're not pretending to be the party of small government, and more personal freedom.

Fossick 5 years, 9 months ago

Machiavelli_mania: "Wrong! The traditional GOP touted the person's ability to have strong individual rights. To this day, there are still some of us who hold tightly to the traditional GOP values, despite the dubious GOP morph."

It's not wrong at all. Over the past 40 years we have seen an incredible liberalization in personal freedoms in America and even in Kansas. If you recall correctly, sodomy used to be illegal in a large number of states (Kansas being one of the last 4 finally knocked down by Lawrence v. Texas.) Before the early 70s, abortion was illegal or severely restricted nearly everywhere, though laws were being liberalized. It was illegal to buy liquor on Sunday in Kansas and we still have dry counties, though fewer. None of this has been pushed by conservatives. Where conservatives have pushed these things, they have attempted to recover the laws as they were.

So where did these laws come from? They must have come from somewhere. Was it sneaky liberals in Kansas that made it illegal to buy rum while flying over Kansas? Was it sneaky liberals that made it illegal for auto dealers to be open on Sunday?

I don't doubt the GOP has contradictions in their platform and Vertigo is right that they want a smaller government that does more. But let's not pretend that Conservatives, and especially Republicans, just recently discovered the power to tell people what to do. That's a power they've known about for a long time.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 9 months ago

And Akin did not really mean that women who are raped were really asking for it as opposed to "legitimate rape".

Does anybody detect a thread here?

This republican policy of getting into everybodie's private businessand bedrooms is there, it has been told, and the true stripes of the tea bag facist republicans has been revealed. You cannot retract what already is well-known and well documented.

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