Archive for Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Brownback administration supports bill that critics say could invalidate Lawrence anti-discrimination ordinance

February 14, 2012

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Lori Wagner, of Lawrence, outside committee room after testifying Tuesday against House Bill 2260, which she said would allow legal challenges to local laws, such as the one in Lawrence, that ban discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The House Judiciary Committee took no immediate action on the measure.

Lori Wagner, of Lawrence, outside committee room after testifying Tuesday against House Bill 2260, which she said would allow legal challenges to local laws, such as the one in Lawrence, that ban discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The House Judiciary Committee took no immediate action on the measure.

Related document

House Bill 2260 ( .PDF )

— Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration on Tuesday supported a bill that it said would protect religious liberty, but critics said the measure would allow discrimination against people based on sexual orientation.

Lori Wagner, of Lawrence, said House Bill 2260 would allow people to claim religious reasons for challenging a Lawrence ordinance that bars discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons.

“It would legalize discrimination,” Wagner said. “If the underlying goal is to go after gay people, we’re not going to have it.”

But Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer testified in support of the bill, saying it was needed because President Barack Obama was attacking religious rights. He cited the recent controversy over the Obama administration’s decision to require contraceptive coverage in health insurance plans, which has been criticized by some Catholic leaders.

“As you consider House Bill 2260, the federal government’s recent attempts to trample the religious liberties of millions of Americans must be at the forefront of your debate,” Colyer said. “Religious liberty is at the heart of who we are as a people.”

HB 2260 would prohibit government from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion unless the government can prove the action is furthering a compelling government interest. The bill would allow individuals to sue the government if their exercise of religion “has been burdened, or is likely to be burdened.”

The measure, by state Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, was considered before Kinzer’s House Judiciary Committee. No immediate action was taken on the bill, which has been dubbed the Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act.

In addition to Colyer, the proposal was supported by the Kansas Catholic Conference, Kansas Family Council, Concerned Women for America of Kansas, and the Alliance Defense Fund.

Michael Schuttloffel, executive director of the Kansas Catholic Conference, said the legislation was “necessary as a bulwark” against the erosion of religious freedoms. “Increasingly, freedom of religion is being reduced and confined to little more than the freedom to worship in a private setting,” he said.

Supporters said the measure was similar to a federal law already in place and wouldn’t violate anyone’s rights.

But state Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, spoke against the measure, and Lawrence Mayor Aron Cromwell submitted testimony against it too.

“If a community is concerned that discrimination exists, that community should have some flexibility in addressing those concerns,” Francisco said. “I do not believe that our Kansas statutes should be used to condone discrimination on the basis of an individual exercising their freedom of religion.”

Cromwell said the bill’s definition of “compelling government interest” excludes local law banning discrimination in employment, public accommodations and housing that differ from the Kansas Act Against Discrimination law.

“Lawrence’s law prohibiting discrimination is broader and more inclusive than the Kansas Act Against Discrimination. Our laws were enacted after much public comment and thoughtful deliberation by our elected officials,” he said.

Thomas Witt, executive director of the Kansas Equality Coalition, said the bill would invalidate all nondiscrimination policies that do not exactly match the Kansas Act Against Discrimination. Many schools, universities, cities and counties have policies that specifically prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, which goes beyond the KAAD, he said.

“Our cities, counties, education institutions, and other agencies have adopted these ordinances and policies in good faith, and out of a desire to make our communities better places to live,” Witt said.

“The last thing they expect from their Legislature is to have this time-bomb dropped in their laps,” he said.

Other groups opposed to the bill were the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri, the Kansas chapter of the National Organization for Women and the Great Plains Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The same bill was considered last year but didn’t advance through the Legislature. During last year’s debate, the supporters of the bill talked mostly about protecting the rights of people who opposed same-sex marriage. This time, however, many of the supporters focused on health care mandates from the Obama administration.

Comments

Enlightenment 3 years, 6 months ago

Wow, another smoke screen. So this bill is a reaction to Obama's healthcare initiative that will allow all women access to healthcare.

frankfussman 3 years, 6 months ago

What??? "has been burdened, or is likely to be burdened." This won't stand up.

KS 3 years, 6 months ago

Nobody said women should not have access to healthcare! They can pay for it themselves. What is with all this "free lunch" stuff? Somebody has to pay for this? All of us will indirectly. I can't wait to read some really stupid comments about this. Can't wait to scroll.

asixbury 3 years, 6 months ago

Obama's bill is to require insurance to cover contraceptives, which is not a bad thing. The person buying the insurance coverage is paying for it. Besides, Obama changed his bill to give churches a way out of directly paying for this type of coverage (read BBC news online). You have no argument, since you obviously do not know the whole story.

Enlightenment 3 years, 6 months ago

So now the religious conservatives need a bill passed in the state to make sure they KEEP their religious freedom, but are unwilling to provide gays and lesbians the same rights they currently have through marriage.

kkalgarin 3 years, 6 months ago

WOW! Are you serious, this is absolutley unbelieveable! So its ok to practice your religious beliefs but if you are gay, lesbian or transgender you're SOL? Once again our narrow minded govenor pushes his policy on us, when is this man going to get the heck out of office, he is destroying our city and our state. What he needs to do is stop all this rub my back and I'll rub yours crap and wake up! We need laws that help every single Kansan not single out persons and groups and show favortism, if you do not want to mix with people who are different and have every right to be individual, don't. But do not punish us who think every single person in our state has a right to be who they are, you do not see gays stuffing there beliefs down our throat, so why is our government doing it to them. Just as the ignoramus' who created this bill have the freedom to do so, do you not ask the same freedom to be given to all? No matter what their beliefs or sexual prefference. Govenor BB you are the worst thing to ever happen to our gracious state of Kansas.

GreenEyedBlues 3 years, 6 months ago

What more does he want? Oh yeah! Theocracy.

dabbindan 3 years, 6 months ago

certainly don't allow any laws prevent you from being a kind, generous and decent human being. you know, christ like. in public.

ksjayhawk74 3 years, 6 months ago

So religious groups want to have the "freedom" to discriminate against gays and lesbians... Good people...

globehead 3 years, 6 months ago

Yep! It's right wing Christianity's attack on Christianity.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

That is not what this legislation is about.

Jayhawk1958 3 years, 6 months ago

Once again the Republican running for President will lose because all they care about is gays, guns, and God.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

I think those issues God, guns, and guts...have been winning issues for the GOP. Really this legislation does not center upon "gays" it is about the freedom of religion. It is about the right of all Kansans to be able to practice their faith and have schools and hospitals that support their faith and values context. Obama is trying to run God off and this bill is addressing that issue.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

You are correct this law will merely help to correct what Sebelius and Obama are attempting to destroy! This is still America and we have the right to worship God as we see fit and to build schools and hospitals that reflect and support our religious values. The government does not have the right to interfere with an establishment of religion.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 6 months ago

Nor does religion have the right to interfere with government. You can't have it both ways.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

That is not correct--moral and religious people have the right to influence government--that is our guarantee we have free speech rights and we have the right to write our values into law! The establishment clause of the constitution is misrepresented if we are told to put a clam up just because we have conservative and perhaps even Christian or "religious" beliefs. Beliefs are beliefs--religious--or not!

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 6 months ago

Then by all means, your church has every "right" to pay taxes if it wants a voice.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

And when you attempt to "influence" government based on your religious beliefs, that comes awfully close to establishing your religion as our national one, which violates the establishment clause.

The basis of our laws is, and should, be the constitution, not the Bible, no matter how much you believe your religious beliefs are right.

Glenn Reed 3 years, 6 months ago

Oh, if people would just gather up under God and be properly SAVED!

Respect your masters!

1 Timothy 6:1-2

Mike Ford 3 years, 6 months ago

Go, gop, go. Lose Boeing jobs and create nabf boondoggle and put bigotry before jobs. Memo to the middle ages religious views....Europe didn't want you either. Hey Mr. Santorum....the fourteenth century called....they need someone to run the crusades.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

The jobs are being lost because of Obama and his run-away regulatory scheme! The Obama administration is at fault with sending jobs to Brazil, sending oil to China, and not permitting new clean coal technology from being constructed in AMerica!

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

Wow.

You do realize, I hope, that we had more job losses at the end of Bush's presidency than ever under Obama.

If you look at a simple chart, it shows decreasing losses, and then gains with Obama, after a staggering amount of job losses with Bush.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

It all depends on how you look at that chart! The job losses that have been caused by this administrations runaway regulatory scheme have not even been calculated. He closes off any opportunity for expanded industry in this country by regulating and taxing them out --forcing them off shore--this is the worst and most socialist President of our life time!

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

No it doesn't.

The chart clearly shows that during the end of Bush's presidency, we had increasing job losses, and that during Obama's presidency, we've had decreasing losses and then gains.

sci4all 3 years, 6 months ago

I believe that all stores should be closed on Sundays. I believe that women should only be treated by female doctors, and men by males. I believe that having my kids learn that the world is round will cause them to lose sight of God who fixed the four corners of the earth. I believe that porn, alcohol, and communing with members of the opposite sex to whom one isn't related should be illegal. I refuse to hire fertile women because they should be home bearing and caring for their children.

Thank goodness this law will allow my religious freedom to flourish here in Kansas! Otherwise I might have to move to Saudi Arabia.

verity 3 years, 6 months ago

". . . . the legislation was 'necessary as a bulwark' against the erosion of religious freedoms."

I have observed for decades that those squawking about the loss of their religious freedom usually mean their freedom to force their religion on others.

gudpoynt 3 years, 6 months ago

+1

or as Jon Stewart put it on Monday's show...

"Your getting religious persecution mixed up with not always getting everything you want"

... or something along those lines

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

Really--I think you have forgotten that it Sebelius and Obama attempting to force Church related organizations to fund things they consider to be "sin"? Looks to me like it is the liberals and Obama who are threatening our first amendment by attempting to force our citizens to violate their consciences. This administration's actions are a threat to the freedom of all Americans and it is time for us to wake up and remove Obama and Sebelius!

Jayhawk1958 3 years, 6 months ago

"Increasingly, freedom of religion is being reduced and confined to little more than the freedom to worship in a private setting," he said.

And there you have it. They want no seperation between church and state is what I get from that statement.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

I disagree with you! I believe that our governor is attempting to defend the religious liberty of the people of Kansas! Our governor is trying to drive the liberalism that thinks government has all the answers out of our state and allow private citizens to make decisions for themselves.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 6 months ago

Because Kansas is a notoriously liberal state.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 6 months ago

In exactly what way is your constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of religion trampled on by a man wearing a condom or a woman taking the pill? This is 2012, not 1612. This is Lawrence, KS, not Salem, MA...

Ps, the earth is about 5 billion years old and spherical, not 6000 years old and flat...

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

Well you might have a point if the government was not attempting to use coercion to force citizens to PAY for these things! This is not about the issues you mention because they all will continue to be permitted! This is about the government attempting to tell churches and religious organizations that they have to "pay" or support things that they view as immoral. Christians will never agree to pay for abortion pills and morning after pills that support immorality and go against God and his Word.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

Well you might have a point if the government was not attempting to use coercion to force citizens to PAY for these things! This is not about the issues you mention because they all will continue to be permitted! This is about the government attempting to tell churches and religious organizations that they have to "pay" or support things that they view as immoral. Christians will never agree to pay for abortion pills and morning after pills that support immorality and go against God and his Word.

coloradoan 3 years, 6 months ago

Very good PM. Now, peyote anyone? Snakehandling? Rastafarians and ganja? What else didn't you geniuses think of? Oh yes, polygamy? Don't inerfere with those, or is there to be only one "true" religion? That's dangerous territory for us as a society and as a Republic.

chootspa 3 years, 6 months ago

I have a religious aversion to seeing banned users repeatedly return to keep posting. Be gone with ye, foul demon of the sock puppet land! I cast thee out!

ksjayhawk74 3 years, 6 months ago

I have a deep seeded religious and moral belief that Phoenixman should have to give me his car.

Thanks for pointing out that the Constitution protects my belief. Please just be sure that it has a full tank of gas when you drop it off to me.

audvisartist 3 years, 6 months ago

They overthrow national governments in other countries. How hard can it be to overthrow state government in Kansas?

Armstrong 3 years, 6 months ago

Gotta love it. The left stirring the left. Thank Obama for this one guys. Rothschild seems to do a good job of getting you in a frenzy daily as well. Hope and change !

Mike Ford 3 years, 6 months ago

good phoenixman, now realize that when the gop runs the government they try to infuse their religious beliefs at the expense of others who have different beliefs. you can practice your religion all you want....you simply can't use it through a gop government to mess with others. no one is stopping you or any other godlican from religion....we're simply saying no to having you shove it upon us.

coloradoan 3 years, 6 months ago

Wow. They appear to have no clue! So now a Kansas branch of the Native American church from the Southwest that prefers to smoke peyote can sue the government for banning the substance? What of all the other diverse religions? Or is the idea to also declare an official, "acceptable" religion? Now there's a plan. NOT.

geekin_topekan 3 years, 6 months ago

It's been legal o members of the NAChurch since the native religious freedom act of '76. So NAs have no reason to sue because they are protected by law.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 6 months ago

One small step for Governor Brownback...one "Great Leap Backwards" for Kansans.

hujiko 3 years, 6 months ago

The persecuted have become the persecutors - didn't Jesus teach about loving your neighbor?

oldvet 3 years, 6 months ago

" didn't Jesus teach about loving your neighbor? "

Don't be so selective... follow all of the teachings of Jesus and avoid those sins that He told you to avoid.

hujiko 3 years, 6 months ago

Speak for yourself, you are after all the one that believes in that drivel.

Wearing cloth of mixed fabric, eating shellfish, making fire on the Sabbath, selling your wife into slavery - why don't you observe those tenets?

The list goes on.

werekoala 3 years, 6 months ago

I don't think they've thought their cunning plan through...

as those up above posted, I'm wondering what the "compelling government reason" behind prohibiting Rastafarians and Native Americans from ingesting illegal drugs in private ceremonies would be.

But worse than that, doesn't this open the door to sharia?!?!?!?!

The plight of the poor fundamentalist in an egalitarian society. Every step he takes to advance his religion, also aids the deluded followers of the False Gods...

Lindsey Buscher 3 years, 6 months ago

"...needed because President Barack Obama was attacking religious rights."

Wut?

geekin_topekan 3 years, 6 months ago

We need to quit making women's health a religious political issue. Praying to your God is one thing but inflicting your beliefs is why the founders intentionally created a non-Christian nation;

Grammaton 3 years, 6 months ago

Agreed. They sought to prevent the infliction of religion. Freedom to worship? Of course. But it should not receive untouchable status.

downriverdan 3 years, 6 months ago

~“As you consider House Bill 2260, the federal government’s recent attempts to trample the religious liberties of millions of Americans must be at the forefront of your debate,” Colyer said. “Religious liberty is at the heart of who we are as a people.”~

You are so wrong Mr. Colyer. It is individual liberty that is at the heart of who we are as a people! It is my individual right to not be forced into your belief system nor you unto mine.

~Michael Schuttloffel, executive director of the Kansas Catholic Conference, said the legislation was “necessary as a bulwark” against the erosion of religious freedoms. “Increasingly, freedom of religion is being reduced and confined to little more than the freedom to worship in a private setting,” he said.~

"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men....when thou prayest, enter into thy closet and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret" so sayeth the Lord Jesus Christ.

usnsnp 3 years, 6 months ago

Seperation of church and state. To me this means that whatever a church believes should not influence any law that the state passes. I find it funny when President Kennedy ran for the Presidencie there were all theis claims that he would be a puppet of the Vatican, and these claims came from the Republican Party. Where are these claims now that the Republicans have 2 Catholics running for the job.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

You are misinterpreting the establishment clause of the constitution. It forbids government from interfering with religion it does not take the free speech rights away from the Christian community or other religious organizations. We continue to be protected by the constitution and we are allowed to speak out and declare that even acts of the government are wrong or sinful or hopefully in some cases right and moral!

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

Yes, that's true.

But, you have already shared your desire to create a theocracy based on your particular religious beliefs, which would clearly violate the establishment clause, as you would in essence be establishing your own religion as our national one.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 6 months ago

Actually, I'm not misinterpreting the establishment clause. If you study what Jefferson wrote about it (oh the * horrors*! Actually reading a "founding father") you would know that Jefferson meant for it to be a freedom "from" religion as much as a freedom "to" religion. But that just doesn't fit your worldview, does it?

Mike Ford 3 years, 6 months ago

coloradoan.....I have family that was protestant clergy and I'm Native. I see the mess in it's entirety.

geekin_topekan 3 years, 6 months ago

Kennewick man was Native AMerican, he was one of the pure ones who God didnt turn brown. Ask the Mormons, Romney will tell you all about it. Kennisck man was Indian but he was not deemed an abomination by God. A lone explorer does not a genocide justify.

Frightwig 3 years, 6 months ago

Can somebody please quote the section of the bill that denies health care to women and discriminates against gays? I read the bill and I missed it somehow.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

This is actually interesting.

And, I've asked the question before, if your religious belief leads you to discriminate, what then?

It seems to me that there's a conflict between two differing rights/values here - the right to religious freedom, and the right to not be discriminated against.

If religious folks do in fact believe that their religion leads them to not hire gays, and yet our society has determined that we want gays to have equal rights, what then?

Seems to me that there's no easy win/win answer.

thebigspoon 3 years, 6 months ago

It seems to me that there is really no conflict--if the US Constitution is to be followed. The right to religious freedom has never been held to trump the right to human dignity. In the event that a religious belief conflicts with a lawful action the religious belief has invariably been seen as secondary. This bill is meant for one thing and one thing only: the denial of the right of a person to live her/his sexuality, which is not a function of the government to control, unless that sexuality causes harm to another person or portion of society. The key is "harm", and the Federal government has held, over and over, that practicing sexuality is of no harm.

If "religious folks" believe in not hiring gays, that is really too bad, as sate (as of now) and federal law prohibit that type of discrimination. Any law that leads to the discrimination of gays as a group will ultimately be squashed, if, indeed, any legislative body were idiot enough to actually pass such a bill rather than introducing it simply to posture for the unthinking minority who would see it as a victory.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

I'm not all sure that's true.

The Constitution, in the Bill of Rights, sets religious freedom as one of our most foundational rights.

Later laws based on various principles of non-discrimination are more secondary.

It's not a clear victory for the non-discrimination laws to me, in theory.

I agree, of course, that gay people should have full equal rights, and not be discriminated against in any way, and I generally like your set-up that harm to others is where the government has a right to intervene.

But, that doesn't solve the initial conflict from a constitutional standpoint, as far as i can tell.

thebigspoon 3 years, 6 months ago

My point, not very well made, I guess, is that freedom "from" the "religion" of those in power is more sacred to the Constitution than freedom "of" religion that discriminates against a non-religious activity or belief that is legal under the Constitution.

I agree that this is a sticky wicket, but, in my opinion, only because there is a bloc of power-holders who have an almost maniacal fear of those different from them. If only on grounds of "what damage do the gays do to the state" this bill is discriminatory and a quite transparent move toward polarizing the voters.

The Brownback administration has shown, time and time again, a marked dislike for differences in people, a sincere dislike of any ideology not of their ilk, and a very, very dangerous trend toward ignoring lawful ways of doing things.

Conflict? Yes. But one that is important to the State of Kansas? Not by a million miles. Get busy creating jobs, for both straights and gays, and getting the economy back on track here in Kansas.

The only conflict I see hee is the conflict between Brownback and those who truly care about the state and its residents.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

Again, not sure that's true.

Congress shall make no law...or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

That's a phrase that needs interpretation, and there are a few different ways to do that.

And, there are no federal protections for all citizens on the grounds of sexual orientation yet, so states/cities are free to institute discriminatory laws about those, as far as I can tell.

It is indeed a "sticky wicket" - that's my main point.

The best outcome would be for some sorts of federally mandated rights for gays/lesbians/etc.

On this one, if the city wants to prevent discrimination, and the state wants to institute it, I'm not sure what the theoretically correct outcome would be - anybody?

UltimateGrownup 3 years, 6 months ago

The word "discriminate" should not be used in this context. Homosexuals are not a race. In fact, acts of homosexuality are illegal in Kansas (disregarding Lawrence v. Texas), so the ordinance, to begin with, is akin to a law protecting jaywalkers, flashers, or drug users, from a standpoint of legality.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

That's why they just "disregard" the SC decision.

It's a clever little move, don't you think? If you don't like something, just disregard it.

UltimateGrownup 3 years, 6 months ago

The Supreme Court has no more right to invalidate a state's sodomy law than it has to order the British RAF to bomb Pluto. Sodomy is not covered in the Constitution. This is beyond argument. In this case, the Supreme Court's blather should be ignored.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

Actually, SC decisions can be overturned by a federal amendment to the constitution, something I wasn't aware of until relatively recently, which is interesting.

Otherwise, of course, you're completely right.

tolawdjk 3 years, 6 months ago

Women are not a "race" either, so your arguement fails on that point.

While the "acts" may be illegal, "being" homosexual isn't illegal. Being a thing does not automatically assume the act. If this were the case, priests could not be priests.

The law does not protect "jaywalkers, flashers, or drug users" in the manner in which you think it does.

Your arguement fails and your logic is a failure.

But thanks for playing.

asixbury 3 years, 6 months ago

Race is not the only protected group. Disabled, elderly, women, religious groups are all protected as well from discrimination. At the federal level, people are also protected from discrimination because of their sexual identity and preference. So....your point it moot.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

If there is federal protection based on sexual preference, then local anti-discrimination laws like this one would be unnecessary.

Do you have a source for that federal protection? I'm not at all sure it exists.

asixbury 3 years, 6 months ago

"Other federal laws, not enforced by EEOC, also prohibit discrimination and reprisal against federal employees and applicants. The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA) contains a number of prohibitions, known as prohibited personnel practices, which are designed to promote overall fairness in federal personnel actions. 5 U.S.C. 2302. The CSRA prohibits any employee who has authority to take certain personnel actions from discriminating for or against employees or applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age or disability. It also provides that certain personnel actions can not be based on attributes or conduct that do not adversely affect employee performance, such as marital status and political affiliation. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has interpreted the prohibition of discrimination based on conduct to include discrimination based on SEXUAL ORIENTATION. The CSRA also prohibits reprisal against federal employees or applicants for whistle-blowing, or for exercising an appeal, complaint, or grievance right. The CSRA is enforced by both the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) and the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB)." http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/qanda.html

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

Ok - you mean that federal employees have that protection.

I thought you meant there were some sort of federal laws covering that for everybody.

asixbury 3 years, 6 months ago

Oh, I should have been more clear. There isn't coverage for everyone else, but there should be.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

homosexuals and blacks have alot of differences as well--for example we cannot choose our skin color but we can make choices in the area of our sexuality and who we have sexual relations with! Attempting to equate race and sexuality/perversion (biblically speaking) really obscures the issue!

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

When did you choose your sexuality?

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 6 months ago

LOL! Disregard that the court says laws discriminating against homosexuals are UNCONSTITUTIONAL! LOL! YOu can't discriminate against someone's age, religion, disability, sexual preference, etc. because everyone is granted the RIGHT to LIFE, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS! But, we should probably disregard the Declaration of Independence at this juncture, eh?

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

That's a bit much, I think.

For many people, their faith is something that affects their whole lives, and in some ways I think that's a good thing, and how it should be, rather than something they only think about on Sundays.

Your examples are absurd, of course, and chosen for that, but there can be other, less absurd ones as well.

Part of the problem is the definition of "the free exercise thereof" of religion.

usnsnp 3 years, 6 months ago

Laws agains discrimination also protects Catholics, Protestants, Jews, everyone.

rtwngr 3 years, 6 months ago

Go, Sam, go! The Constitution of the United States provided that the State shall not establish a mandatory religion. It never prohibited the free exercise of religion in the public arena. Each one of us has a religion that forms our moral beings. Whether it be the religion of secular relativism where anything goes or stricter tenets of, say, Islam that require a specific way of dress. How we are going to find a balance is beyond me. I will admit this, there has been such an attack on Christianity by the secular public since Everson v. Board of education in 1947, that there was going to eventually be a push back.

It is intellectually disingenuous to frame the recent Obama mandate by the HHS as protecting women's healthcare. By doing so you have to ignore the fact that birth control pills and the morning after pill are already readily available to anyone that wants them. Sterilization that is needed to remedy another healthcare problem, a hysterectomy for example, is not a problem with religious healthcare providers. Elective sterilization is another issue.

If it is so important that contraceptives and morning after pills be provided free of charge, in the name of "Women's" healthcare, why not all prescription drugs? Why are women entitled to free anything and men are not. I require a medication that is not expensive but it sure as heck isn't free either. What makes contraception more important to a woman than the drug that I have to take daily? Isn't this a form of discrimination too?

Sorry, secularists. You brought a lot of this on yourselves by opportunistic lawsuits pushed by the ACLU claiming offense where none existed. Then, like in the comments above, rather than extend the tolerance you preached, you mocked and derided the people you would seek to silence. Jesus said we should forgive seven times seventy. Maybe we were offended for the 491st time.

asixbury 3 years, 6 months ago

Religious rights were never trampled on like you say. The right of the religious to push their beliefs on other people is what is no longer tolerated. Your religion should not overshadow the rights of the individual.

rtwngr 3 years, 6 months ago

What is a right? Where does a right come from, the government? Government protects rights and administers entitlements. If I am an employer that has a conscience issue with providing birth control, that does not prevent that employee from obtaining birth control on their own. Frankly I don't think taxpayers or insurers should be required to provide contraception. It is inexpensive enough that the average American can afford it on their own. If their is a cost issue for the poorest of the poor then, possibly, an entitlement like WIC or medicare could possibly be provided even though that rankles me too.

asixbury 3 years, 6 months ago

The taxpayers aren't covering the birth control. The employee's insurance plan is required to cover it. The employee pays for their insurance, or the cost is included in their benefits at work. How is this a handout?

rtwngr 3 years, 6 months ago

If the employer participates in the plan, and most do, they are, in part funding it. If the employer is self insured they fund it entirely. If the government is reimbursing the insurance company, the taxpayer is funding it. Contraception is not a right. Healthcare is not a right. These are entitlements that I don't want to pay for.

asixbury 3 years, 6 months ago

Even if the employer is paying for part, this is as a benefit for the employee's labor. Again, this is an issue about employers’ not being allowed to say what their employees can and cannot have covered in their insurance. Religious aversions to contraceptives should not be imposed on the employee. That would be forcing their religious views on others, which should not be their right. It would also be another way of the employer controlling the women that work for them. They would basically be saying, "I don't agree with birth control, so I'm going to keep you from having that covered in your insurance." They have no say on anything that has to do with a woman's body.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

Why doesn't the employer have the right to determine what kind of benefits they want to offer?

Regardless of the reasons.

asixbury 3 years, 6 months ago

I don't believe it should be the right of the employer to pick and choose when it comes to basic health insurance. Birth control is just as basic as preventive health screenings, which also will be a requirement if this bill passes. It becomes complicated when trying to vindicate leaving one benefit out or the other, solely based on the employer's opinion. That is what you call a slippery slope.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

Well, that's your view.

Others don't believe that people have a "right" to employer provided health insurance at all, and in fact, before the ACA, employers weren't required to offer it.

Are defined benefit pension plans also a right? Defined contribution ones? Employer matching ones?

voevoda 3 years, 6 months ago

Birth control is a health issue--an issue of wellness. If insurance covers wellness care--and most insurance policies do, because it is cost-effective--then birth control should be included, the same as any other preventive medication. Just like medication to prevent osteoporosis, or stroke, or pertussis. I agree, rtwngr, that ideally all prescription drugs should be provided free of charge. You have just made a compelling argument for a single-payer system for all American citizens. If we as a country went that route, this whole debate would go away. Then, religious leaders could urge their parishioners not to avail themselves of "forbidden" medical care, whether birth control or blood transfusions.

rtwngr 3 years, 6 months ago

Here is where we disagree. I do not think that healthcare is a right. I also do not agree with your premise that birth control is an issue of wellness. I do not think I should be forced to pay for a woman's birth control any more than that woman wants me to tell her to stop spreading her legs and using her body as a playground.

ksjayhawk74 3 years, 6 months ago

In these situations, the woman would be paying for health insurance, sometimes employees pay a portion of the cost of health insurance, rarely their insurance is paid if full by the employer. Even in the case that the employer is paying for health coverage in full, the cost is still paid for by the labor of the employee.

An employer can not just decide that they don't want their employees using birth control so they won't provide it. That amounts to an employer imposing their beliefs on a person. It's the employer telling employees that they should only be having sex for procreation.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

Well, I don't know about that.

If employers are paying for health insurance, they have the right to decide what's covered.

If employees pay for it, then employers have no such right.

If it's split,...

ksjayhawk74 3 years, 6 months ago

Again, even if the employer is paying for insurance, it is still funded by the employee's labor. Also, an employer has no say in what an employee can spend their paycheck on.

An employer has no business deciding what coverage their employees get based on "moral" grounds. They are not doctors, they can not make medical decisions.

The cost of birth control pills in negligible for health care providers, especially compared to other health expenses.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

That's an interesting argument, but I'm not sure it holds up.

They aren't medical questions, they're questions of what sort of benefits employers are offering, and that's up to them - they're not required to offer insurance at all, until the new requirements kick in.

voevoda 3 years, 6 months ago

You assume, rtwngr, that women use birth control only in order to be able to engage in wanton sex in order to yield to men's whims. That's a demeaning attitude. Most women use birth control in order to be responsible--that is, not bear children when they are not financially able to support them. For married women in particular--the majority of users of birth control--they wish to affirm the sanctity of the marital bond while still being responsible.
Smart employers want women to use birth control, because it makes them more reliable as employees. Catholic institutions are beneficiaries of women using birth control, even if they don't want to acknowledge it.

rtwngr 3 years, 6 months ago

I was inferring that women follow their own whims. That you imply that i was referring to men makes you either sexist or obtuse.

This may sound incredulous to most of you but forcing a Catholic hospital to be a part of contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization is like asking a muslim to eat pork. We are talking about a core belief.

Any freedom taken away from one is taken away from all. It can never be taken back. When the government can force an institution to violate its conscience, whether you think it is valid or not, none of our freedoms are safe any longer.

The reason this is so sacred is because it cuts to the heart of creation and who God is to us as a people. You may not understand but I expect you to respect it.

asixbury 3 years, 6 months ago

Read up on the changes to this law Obama made: he created an exemption for religious institutes, so the money that covers contraceptives and the like is not directly from the institution. These changes can be found on BBC online news website.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

No one should be forced to pay for birth control or abortion pills or any other "medical care" that is morally questionable especially if it violates their religious beliefs. This gets to the heart of what the problem is with socialized medicine--it takes away our freedoms--the freedom to say NO.

lawslady 3 years, 6 months ago

Matthew 21:23-27 - Those who only TALK about doing the right thing will be SOL.

Matthew 22:35 - The greatest of these is love.

John 8:7 - Let he is without sin cast the first stone.

Those who merely talk about following the rules, but show by their actions how hateful (not loving) they truely are, are not following the reported actual words of their leader.

rtwngr 3 years, 6 months ago

There is such a thing as righteous indignation. BTW any person can come up with an idea and run to the bible, extract verses out of context, and then post them to make a point.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 6 months ago

I was born pre-1960 as well and I have a completely opposite world view. I voted in my presidential election in 1972 and since that time Republicans have been in control of the White House for 75% of that time. Noam Chomsky explains that America's deterioration is real..and self inflicted. http://www.alternet.org/world/154133/noam_chomsky:america's_decline_is_real--_and_increasingly_self-inflicted/?page=entire Bottom line, America has been the instrument of it's own destruction. Oh and by the way, stop throwing the word "socialism" around as a scare tactic. You have no more idea of what real "socialism" is than a man in the moon.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 6 months ago

*...voted in my FIRST presidential election in 1972.

boltzmann 3 years, 6 months ago

If it is easy to define then why do you use it incorrectly?

downriverdan 3 years, 6 months ago

Socialism in it's largest and grandest form is our US Military.

It is our fire and police protection at the local level. It is our education system. It is our Congress and Supreme Court. It is our highway system. It is our Social Security system. It is our Medicare system.

If you do away with socialism you do away with our Constitution and our government.

rtwngr 3 years, 6 months ago

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

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

You reveal yourself when you quote Noam Chomsky...do you really think that man has our freedom and liberty in his heart...then answer is NO!

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

Do you now possess the power to see into another's heart?

That's pretty impressive.

From what I've seen, Chomsky is a very intelligent, and caring person.

mom_of_three 3 years, 6 months ago

like repubs are following the founding fathers??? hhmm....

skootermonkey 3 years, 6 months ago

The nation's largest corporations receive more welfare money than our social welfare programs.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

absolutely-liberals just refuse to have an open mind--they refuse to see the cliff Obama is leading them over. Socialism has been tried all around the world and has been a miserable failure and now Obama is attempting to do for us what socialism has done for others. If we do not stop this madness we will be a third world nation left in the dust bin of history just like the former soviet union!

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 6 months ago

Why is anyone surprised at our Facist Republican Governer's antics? He clearly favors a theocracy in violation of the U.S. Constitution and has since he was elected by the clueless people of Kansas.

Furthermore, these Republicans have no useful programs at all, and in place of that, choose to trash, bash and denigrate the current President of the United States Barack Obama. It is the only theme you hear from all the Republican "candidates" attacking each other much to the absolute delight of the rest of us..

Are you proud, Kansas? Has this theocrat presented your home state to the nation as a sensible and reasonable place to live? I think not.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

more name-calling from the left. Mr. Brownback is no more Fascist then Mr. Obama is communist! Name calling is a favority tactic of the liberals on this site when they run out of arguments!

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 6 months ago

Kinda like when right wingers accuse Democrats/Obama of being "socialist"? I think you may be getting it!

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 6 months ago

Why is anyone surprised at our Facist Republican Governer's antics? He clearly favors a theocracy in violation of the U.S. Constitution and has since he was elected by the clueless people of Kansas.

Furthermore, these Republicans have no useful programs at all, and in place of that, choose to trash, bash and denigrate the current President of the United States Barack Obama. It is the only theme you hear from all the Republican "candidates" attacking each other much to the absolute delight of the rest of us..

Are you proud, Kansas? Has this theocrat presented your home state to the nation as a sensible and reasonable place to live? I think not.

Alyosha 3 years, 6 months ago

Christians and Republicans need to remember Ronald Reagan's words:

"Church and state are, and must remain, separate."

Read it for yourselves:

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=39316#ixzz1l5tWAvMc

Frightwig 3 years, 6 months ago

That seems to be the point of this bill. To keep government out of religion's business and ensure that government and religion remain separate.

Frightwig 3 years, 6 months ago

Take a look at the PDF file that shows the actual bill. The language on the proposal states that the purpose is to prevent the government from interfering with a person's religious rights. In other words government should stay out of religion.

bad_dog 3 years, 6 months ago

Now if we could just get religion out of government...

boltzmann 3 years, 6 months ago

But the problem is where do rights end. If you believe that religious rights include the right to force other people to behave and act according to the dictates of your religion, then yes, the bill would prevent the government from restricting that right.

Calvin Mabry 3 years, 6 months ago

It never ceases to amaze me at the depths to which these lunatic, Bible thumping republicans will stoop to force their narrow minded and bigoted agenda down our throats. What's even more amazing is how many Kansans blindly swallow the GOP's venomous cool aid, no matter what the obvious ramifications to their own well being.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 6 months ago

"Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal rather than religion-specific values...it requires that their proposal be subject to argument and amendable to reason. " Five points to the first person who can tell me where this quote came from. And for an extra little oomph... https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...

voevoda 3 years, 6 months ago

I don't think that supporters of this bill have realized how it could be used. They might think only of undermining protection of gays and lesbians. But this law would allow: Vegetarians motivated by religious tenets to object to meat-packing industries in the state. Members of polygamous sects to object to the "one-man-one-woman" formula of Kansas law. Persons belonging to religions that forbid the charging of interest on loans to object to any business that does so. Persons belonging to religious sects that prohibit men and women from associating in public places to object to any business that allows men and women clients to mix. Persons belonging to religions that ban alcohol consumption to object to the granting of any liquor licenses. Persons belonging to religions that prohibit caffeine consumption to object to the use of public funds to provide coffee at any public offices or events.

Jimo 3 years, 6 months ago

Despite the quotes about womens' health care, this bill wouldn't affect women. The bills expressly exempts protections provided by federal law. Federal law forbids discrimination against women including burdening womens' health by treating their medical needs differently than men. There is no "I'm a religious bigot" exemption to this generally applicable rule available in federal law (although Republicans apparently will try to enact one through the U.S. Congress).

In fact, this bill can't touch women, or blacks, or Hispanics, or Jews, or any other religions -- all because KSA 44-1001 and/or federal law prohibit that. And the bills says its religious bigotry rights don't apply where in conflict with Kansas/federal discrimination protections.

Then, who does it affect? Apparently, any sexual "deviancy" that exist beyond the realm of heterosexuality. (A) KSA 44-1001 doesn't protect gays, transvestites, etc. (B) Neither does any federal statute. Gays aren't a protected group at the federal or at many state levels. You don't have to do business with them, you don't have to rent to them, you don't have to employ them. Period. (Unless the state, or a political subdivision of the state such as the City of Lawrence, says otherwise. This bill exists to take away the local ability to say otherwise.)

But the bill would still be unconstitutional.....probably. It is a backdoor endrun around Romer v. Evans, the Colorado case where that state tried to prohibit local protections of gays. While Colorado was honest enough to do it explicitly, this bill tries to do the same thing by process of elimination (again, not blacks, not Hispanics, not other religions, not women ....Hmmm....who is left? Who else might a holier-than-thou Bible thumper want to discriminate against that the state of Kansas or the federal government doesn't protect? Who, oh who?).

George_Braziller 3 years, 6 months ago

How is requiring coverage of contraception in an insurance plan "attacking religious rights"? Just because birth control is covered in a plan doesn't force you into using it.


"But Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer testified in support of the bill, saying it was needed because President Barack Obama was attacking religious rights. He cited the recent controversy over the Obama administration’s decision to require contraceptive coverage in health insurance plans, which has been criticized by some Catholic leaders."

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 6 months ago

Jon Stewart: "You've confused the war on your religion with not always getting everything you want. It's called being a part of a society."

Barry Goldwater: "Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them."

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

It may interfere with the right to the "free exercise" of one's religion.

verity 3 years, 6 months ago

No freedom is absolute because at some point your freedom to do as you choose will infringe on my freedom/rights.

There is no easy answer to this conundrum. The big problem here, as I see it, is that if you believe you have God on your side and that you speak for him, compromise is a sin. No getting around that one. It makes people's opinions unequal because "God" is right and everybody who disagrees is wrong and immoral. Of course, God generally seems to say exactly what the hearer wants him to say.

You can't have a democracy without compromise. You just can't.

If this law passes and isn't thrown out on appeal, I have no doubt that it will have many unintended consequences because, as noted above by a number of posters, then anybody can declare anything to be a religious conviction.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

That's my point - it's not an easy situation, no matter how much people on both sides want to make it one.

rtwngr 3 years, 6 months ago

I asked this question above: Is contraception a right? Is healthcare a right? It is not enumerated in the Constitution whereas the freedom of religion is. That freedom of religion means the Catholic church cannot tell the citizenry of the country what to do or believe and the citizenry, and the government, cannot tell the Church what to believe.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

That would mean that you are restricting their freedom to exercise their religion.

What if their religion calls for them to share the "good news", and not keep quiet?

What if it calls for a public display of it?

Etc.

It's not up to you to decide what the free exercise of someone else's religion is - it's kind of up to them, I think.

verity 3 years, 6 months ago

Jafs: "It's not up to you to decide what the free exercise of someone else's religion is - it's kind of up to them, I think."

I have to disagree with you on that. If that were true, anybody could do anything in the name of religion. If they are infringing on my rights or doing something that is outlawed, then that isn't their decision.

I was raised in a rather conservative religion, somewhat outside the mainstream, although mostly not crazy fanatics. I was taught that if a law went against your conscience (and you didn't get to just make stuff up---you were accountable and were to consult with others), then you disobeyed the law in the open and took the consequences.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

I've said over and over again that this isn't an easy question, and that both sides have some merit.

My response was to Agno, who seemed to think that by allowing people to quietly pray in private spaces, that he was giving them the right to "free exercise" of their religion, which I think is wrong.

His next version allows them to read from the Bible out loud, but only on their own property, which is also not good enough.

Your point is correct as well - when the exercise of one right infringes on other's rights, then we have to figure out the right balance.

verity 3 years, 6 months ago

Jafs, it's hard sometimes to tell who is responding to who because these threads only indent so far. Coming from a religion that actually was persecuted in the past by both Catholics and Protestants (as in being killed for refusing to join a state religion) I am very conscious of the fact that we must be very careful about giving up our religious freedom. Some commenters on these boards seem to think that atheism should not be included in that freedom and no doubt I would be one of the first to be done away with if those kind of people had their way.

We have to keep re-evaluating just where we draw the line---times change and issues change. I'm sure this will greatly offend some and I'll be called a situational ethicist, but I stand by what I said. Too many people want simple black and white answers so they don't have to think---or they want an excuse to get angry and say nasty things---and most issues have many sides.

I would suspect that this bill, as with the Blount amendment at the Federal level, is intended to eviscerate the Affordable Health Care Act. So the question is---should employees' health benefits be subject to employers' moral standards?

"Todays (2.15.12) New York Times/CBS poll asks: Do you support or oppose a recent federal requirement that private health insurance plans cover the full cost of birth control for their female patients? This is Obamas new accommodation policy, which the Blunt amendment would roll back completely and go considerably further in the process. Sixty six percent support this federal requirement; only 26 percent oppose it. CBSs polling team sends over a partisan breakdown of the answers, and its even more striking: Even Republicans support this policy, 50-44. Independents support it by 64-26. Moderates support it by 68-22. Women support it by 72-20. Catholics support it by 67-25. And even Catholics who attend church every week or almost every week support it by 48-43."

beatrice 3 years, 6 months ago

jafs, if my religion tells me it is okay to steal from those who have the things I want, that doesn't mean I can actually steal and get away with it. Freedom to exercise religion has to limited to not include supressing the rights of others.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

I agree.

But, look at Agno's comment that I was responding to - he'd like to restrict the "free exercise" of religion, a basic protected constitutional right, to quiet prayer in private spaces, or reading the Bible on one's lawn.

That's hardly free enough for me.

There's a huge difference between infringing on people's rights, and simply doing something that others may find offensive or uncomfortable.

What if I said that certain clothing/fashion offends me, and you can only wear it in your own home?

beatrice 3 years, 6 months ago

I haven't heard of anyone trying to enforce a style of dress in America that restricts someone's religion. People are still allowed to wear burqas if they choose. Saw one at the airport just last week. What we are talking about here is allowing employers to discriminate against others if they don't adhere to the employer's religion. That is where we need to draw the lawn.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

Not exactly.

We're talking about whether or not a religiously owned business has the right to restrict the health insurance they offer.

Whether or not there's a basic "right" to certain health insurance is open for debate.

Lisa Medsker 3 years, 6 months ago

"Sharing good news", that's fine. Cramming "good news" down the throats of the unsuspecting population, overpaid, megalomaniac, fat, wealthy, domestic-servant-baby-machine-owning, (married) Christian, white men using it to bludgeon everyone who is not? Not so fine.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

That's a fine distinction, and one that may be hard to accurately measure.

What seems like simple sharing to one may seem like "cramming" to another.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 6 months ago

14th Amendment: Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 6 months ago

"Madison argued in a 1788 letter to Jefferson, religious fanaticism was as serious a danger to religious liberty as excessive state authority. In his words, “rights of conscience” were undermined by “overbearing majorities” who were intent on advancing the interests of a particular “religious establishment.” In plain and simple terms, the founders meant to protect individuals against excessive encroachments by church as well as state." (a source)

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 6 months ago

Do you really think these people are going to know (or care) what a real founding father actually said? Jefferson himself said, "Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law." Do you really think they give a rat's rear end? They are far to wrapped up in their mythological "Christian Founding Fathers" and their mythological "supply side Jesus" (whom I'm sure has blonde hair and blue eyes) to actually pay attention to truth and reason.

verity 3 years, 6 months ago

Kind of like how all those guys got online licenses to be a preacher and therefore avoid the draft by claiming to be a conscientious objector during the Viet Nam War.

Armored_One 3 years, 6 months ago

Anyone else finding it funny that these religions that are claiming discrimination are attempting to force their way into politics, but at the same time are refusing to surrender their tax-emept status?

pace 3 years, 6 months ago

So all I have to do is establish a church which hold as tenets, that it doesn't believe in other people's rights of free speech, equal rights for women and equal rights for different races. Then our people could go back in time and treat people any way we want. A good name for that church would be United haters, or Corporations against the rights of ordinary people.

beatrice 3 years, 6 months ago

My religion tells me it is okay to smoke marijuana. Does that mean Brownback supports my right to get stoned?

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

Actually, there are exceptions for drug use, I believe - peyote in traditional Native American rituals.

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 6 months ago

Governor Blowback is really overreaching. Let the Blowback begin.

George_Braziller 3 years, 6 months ago

And how would this work in reverse? If a property owner is allowed to not rent to a tenant because of sexual orientation, would a gay property owner be allowed to refuse to rent an apartment to Fred Phelps? Hmmmmm........

voevoda 3 years, 6 months ago

Or refuse to rent to someone whose religion condemns gays as sinners who must be condemned, confronted, and shunned, even in settings that have nothing to do with sexuality. If my religion requires tolerance and acceptance, then would it be all right under this law to refuse to do business with bigots?

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

These have traditionally been private decisions! It is the private decisions that have allowed social control and limitation upon certain behaviors in the past. Society can go to far in both directions on this too permissive or too repressive and the question that this issue presents is whether it is time to make an adjustment away from permissiveness.

George_Braziller 3 years, 6 months ago

Permissiveness? So if you were hiring a bookkeeper and had one candidate with 20 years of experience and was gay, and another candidate with two years of experience and was heterosexual, it's perfectly OK to not hire the best candidate just because he or she is gay?

George_Braziller 3 years, 6 months ago

What if you did hire the candidate with 20 years of experience but didn't know he or she was gay and found out a year later that he or she was? Are you wanting permission to make a "private decision" to fire them just because they're gay?

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

This has nothing to do with the fact that Obama and Sebelius have created this issue by trying to interfere with the private religious organizations. Pulling in "kinky sunday school teachers" etc. is just a smoke screen to attempt to defend a Federal government action that can have no defense. Reread the first amendment to our United States Constitution.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

The bill protects "religious liberty" which is part of the first amendment to the constitution. It is too bad that Obama and his liberal cohorts do not respect the rights of Christian organizations to practice their faith as they see fit. It is too bad that the government is trying to insert itself into the private decision making of religious organizations. It is not "discrimination" if a religious organization simply practices the doctrines and principles of their faith. If the government does not like it that is too bad because the constitution protects those rights.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

Too simple.

If the practices of a certain religion interfere with the rights of others, then it's not that easy to sort out.

Let's say, for example, that a landlord has the religious belief that playing cards is a sin - does that give them the right to refuse to rent to a card-playing tenant?

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 6 months ago

You need to understand that if the government has no right to limit religion then religion has no right to interfere in government. Otherwise, churches can pay taxes like the rest of us.You want government out of your religion? Then get your "God" out of my laws.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 6 months ago

I agree that government has no right to interfere with religion. On the other hand, conversely, religion has no right to interfere in government. It invalidates any reason to interfere between a woman and her doctor on the matter of abortion or contraception nor does it have the right to interfere in matters of sexuality. So, if you want government to not interfere with your religion, get your "God" out of my laws.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

Religion is not interfering with government only asking that they not be required to "pay" for these "services". The further question becomes this why should any of us have to pay for contraception? This should be something that each couple chooses and they should not ask the government or the taxpayer to fund it!

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 6 months ago

Do you really not know how insurance works? Wow. Just...wow.

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