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Archive for Thursday, March 29, 2012

House gives final approval to bill that opponents say will allow discrimination of gays

March 29, 2012

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— The Kansas House on Thursday gave final approval to a bill that supporters said was needed to protect religious beliefs, but opponents said legalized discrimination against gays.

The bill called the Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act would provide a defense against legal action on a claim of discrimination. It was approved 91-33. The Senate would have to approve it before it would go to Gov. Sam Brownback for consideration. His administration has testified in support of the bill.

State Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, said the measure was needed to protect religious freedoms in an environment of changing court rulings.

Opponents said it was a direct attack on gays and the city of Lawrence ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.

During debate Wednesday on the bill, House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, asked Kinzer if under Kinzer's bill an apartment owner could cite his religious beliefs to fight a complaint if he refused to rent to a same-sex couple.

"That is generally correct," Kinzer said.

State Rep. Charlie Roth, R-Salina, said Kinzer's legislation was "homophobic" and that it will hurt Kansas' image.

Locally, state Reps. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence and Davis voted against the bill. State Reps. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora, and TerriLois Gregory, R-Baldwin City, voted for it.

Comments

08Champs 2 years, 5 months ago

What religion preaches that if you're gay (or suspected of being gay) you don't deserve to rent? Sounds like this group is once again giving christianity a bad name. I applaud the Salina representative for going against his party line and being a rational human being. The rest of them make me sick (on a regular basis...) KANSAS: Taking hate to a whole new level.

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rockchalker52 2 years, 5 months ago

Not a lot of good news coming out of Topeka these days.

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booyalab 2 years, 5 months ago

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

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usnsnp 2 years, 5 months ago

Hope the Senate has more sense, otherwise another Kansas Law in the courts. I guess you have to keep the Lawyers employed.

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guesswho 2 years, 5 months ago

Can I start my own religion to discriminate against whoever I want to?

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Mike Willoughby 2 years, 5 months ago

Of course! That's what religion is all about!

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beatrice 2 years, 5 months ago

Bigotry in the name of religion! Too bad god doesn't actually exist, otherwise he might come down and smite the bigots.

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somedude20 2 years, 5 months ago

They hate the truth. If we make the cattle smart, it may be harder to feed them to the zombies when they come. Don't smarten up the R-cattle

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Corey Keizer 2 years, 5 months ago

You have a 5 Dollar bill that says "In God We Trust"?!?!?!

Well, that proves his existence for sure!

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jehovah_bob 2 years, 5 months ago

C'mon Bea! Get it right, as rockchalk has kindly pointed out, God didn't exist until 1956.

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firebird27 2 years, 5 months ago

By no means do I wish to justify this bill, but I suspect in narrowly-drawn cases, the proponents may see justification. For example, does a Catholic church have the right to fire an employee who is found to be gay? Whether one agrees with the Catholic position on homosexuality, there is no doubt where the Catholic faith stands on this issue. To have a homosexual in the church's employment would be inconsistent with its belief system. I am not Catholic, but I suspect part of the support for such a bill comes from a circumstance such as my example.

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Lisa Rasor 2 years, 5 months ago

Actually, pedophiles can't usually be labeled heterosexual or homosexual. Something has gone terribly wrong in the wiring of the brain, and they're attracted to children, not males or females per se. Healthy gay people, like healthy straight people, have no interest in children in that way.

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grimpeur 2 years, 5 months ago

The answer appears to be "yes." Google Al Fischer and Charlie Robin.

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kansanjayhawk 2 years, 5 months ago

This law is about protecting religious freedom and allowing Christians to practice their faith! No one should be forced to see their private property used to promote values or agendas--like the gay agenda--that they do not support and which are an abomination to God. God calls for homosexual people to repent and turn to God and the Bible for salvation as turning from sin in an act of faith.

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Kyle Chandler 2 years, 5 months ago

Oh my Dear, you Christians have it so rough here in the Breadbasket of America. I think all of you should get together and have a Prayer Fundraiser to get you back to your people and escape this persecution.

Everyday i see more and more hate crimes committed against Christians here in Kansas, why the other day, i saw a Jewish Schnauzer peeing on the sidewalk of a christian church. I havent been by there since out of fear, but im pretty sure they closed the church and ran for their lives. Hopefully they find a place thats 'free' where they can pray.

the end

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08Champs 2 years, 5 months ago

I might walk your christian tightrope if action against all their "abominations" were enforced. Are churches refusing communion or fellowship to those that have divorced? Had a vasectomy? Don't submit to their husbands? Or just cherry-picking?

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Keith 2 years, 5 months ago

Why do christians have private property? I thought your teacher said to sell all you have and give it to the poor. Or are you a lukewarm christian?

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mom_of_three 2 years, 5 months ago

You can practice your faith all you want, but how is renting to something who is NOT your faith preventing YOU from practicing yours? Are you not going to rent to an unmarried couple because they aren't married? OR a single mother because she might have had unprotected sex? Or college kids because they might drink and party?
Back 50 years ago, black and whites were not allowed to marry, because it was wrong and god said so. 150 years ago, they held blacks in slavery because the bible allowed them to. Their faith told them it was okay to hold slaves.
So what about your faith can you NOT practice because you can't discriminate against renters or employees?

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Fossick 2 years, 5 months ago

"because it was wrong and god said so."

Actually, it was to protect white privilege, but be that as it may, how are you comparing a law that forbids voluntary behavior (e.g. miscegenation) with a law that allows voluntary behavior?

If you had a law that said you could not rent to someone who is gay, that would be comparable to a law that says you can't marry someone of a different race.

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parrothead8 2 years, 5 months ago

Did God also tell Christians to turn their brothers and sisters out into the cold? Jesus weeps over the thought of his "followers" discriminating against their fellow humans in his name.

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Alyosha 2 years, 5 months ago

You are confusing your own prejudices with what God wants.

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TinmanKC 2 years, 5 months ago

This law is going to court.
"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."

If you don't want YOUR private property to be used in a way that doesn't fit your religious beliefs, then don't offer your private property for rent. Once you offer housing for rent, you are required to not discriminate.

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Matthew Herbert 2 years, 5 months ago

let me preface by saying, I 100% agree with you. Now, on to reality and how the world really works - if I choose to not rent you a house, PROVE to me that I discriminated. When I rent out a property, I frequently get several applications to rent that very same property. These applications come from all sorts of people with all sorts of religious, ethnic, sexual orientation backgrounds. Ultimately, I have to by way of references and past rental history as well as income to rent ratio (which in and of itself is probably discrimination right there) determine who to rent the property to. PROVE to me that I didn't choose someone because they're gay, or because they're black, or because they're Catholic, or because they're a woman, etc..... Unless someone is just outwardly stupid about it (i.e. "No Irish need apply"), discrimination is a near impossible thing to prove.

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booyalab 2 years, 5 months ago

Logic need not apply in this debate.

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ljwhirled 2 years, 5 months ago

I generally discriminate against renters who can't pay.

I also discriminate against slobs who will trash my property.

I can't think of any more promising tenant than two gay men without children:

  1. Dual incomes, no kids!
  2. They will likely keep the place neat.
  3. They likely have impeccable taste in furniture.
  4. Their ability to tell salmon from pink means any redecorating will be done right!

As an added bonus, they might add shoe racks, closet organizers, a wine rack and other valuable organizational items to the closets and kitchens.

Now that I think about it, I am going to rent exclusively to gays in the future!

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kansanjayhawk 2 years, 5 months ago

homosexulity has not been defined in the federal law as a protected class against such discrimination. The law is designed to protect the freedom of religion as practiced and it builds safeguards against abuse.

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Kyle Chandler 2 years, 5 months ago

'abuse' huh, you are really on a roll today...

Guess what, no matter how hard you want to pretend they dont exist, The homosexuals and immigrants and school children are here to stay. So is pre-marital sex.

Feel free though to 'pray' that it all stops, and dont worry it will.....when you die.

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Matthew Herbert 2 years, 5 months ago

any landlord who takes applications on a house before deciding who to rent to (read this as all landlords) is already practicing de facto discrimination. Right? Isn't running a credit check on a potential tenant and then rejecting them on the basis of previous financial trouble a form of discrimination? Accordingly, it seems like any landlord who would reject someone on the basis of being gay could PROBABLY do that in the status quo anyway they just wouldn't officially announce that as the reason.

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viva_la_revolucion 2 years, 5 months ago

I wonder if I'll be protected from not renting to Christians due to my Satanic beliefs. I mean if it's good enough for the goose, it's good enough for the gander.

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somedude20 2 years, 5 months ago

Funny how the Republicans who seem to be the most anti-gay are in fact, homosexual themselves. History has shown this as fact: Foley,Craig,Haggard,Hinson, Ashburn and many many more

I have zero problem with someone who is homosexual but I have a strong hatred of hypocrites. Don't take away other's rights I hope the younger generations are more tolerant but then again, the younger generations work ethic leaves something to be desired

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somedude20 2 years, 5 months ago

how in the hell did you get that? "I have a strong hatred of hypocrites" the point is them being a hypocrite: a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

Next time I will use crayon....

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mom_of_three 2 years, 5 months ago

Are we reverting back to the 17th century, where only certain religions, such as Anglican or Catholic or Puritan could hold office? where premarital sexual relations was a prosecutorial offense? Are we saying only certain groups of people can live in certain places?

Certainly sounds like colonial America to me. And looked what happened - a revolution.

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mom_of_three 2 years, 5 months ago

hhmm, i do more than skim.

I have probably read more history books in the past 3 months than most people in, well, their entire lives.

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jehovah_bob 2 years, 5 months ago

I agree with your sentiment, but the revolution didn't have anything to do with any of those things.

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Fossick 2 years, 5 months ago

Care to read us article XIX of the New Jersey Constitution of 1776? If the Revolution was to get rid of "only certain religions, such as Anglican or Catholic or Puritan could hold office" someone needs to tell that to the Revolutionaries.

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mom_of_three 2 years, 5 months ago

I didn't say that. Learn to read. I said 17th century, not 18th.

Those things, such as only permitting a specific religion to hold office in the 17th century, when the colonies were started, led to the revolutionary ideas and thoughts of the colonists.
certain colonies in their beginnings did only allow certain religions to hold office, just as England did. Puritans were pretty stingy about only letting certain people live among them.
Some colonies didn't even allow various religions or groups to settle there. But there were other colonies who didn't care about the religion or background, and resisted efforts by England to make them that way. Those few colonies allowed diversity, which gave way to revolutionary ideas in the 18th century.

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Fossick 2 years, 5 months ago

You said, "And looked what happened - a revolution. "

A revolution in which the revolutionaries in at least 5 states wrote into their new constitutions exactly what you implied caused them to revolt in the first place.

I read just fine, thanks.

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jehovah_bob 2 years, 5 months ago

The revolution was about economic and political unfairness to put it simply. The revolution did nothing to or for religious preference in governement. I'll defer to Fossick on the NJ Constitution, but laws on fornication were actually adopted from the British and were adapted by several states long after independence, before being repealed as unconstitutional.

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grimpeur 2 years, 5 months ago

The Senate will not pass this childish and backward law.

The House, again, has had a chance to throw its little tantrum and show how much it really really hates gays. There, there, children. We won't let those big, bad gays hurt you any more. Now shut your pieholes and get to work.

Also, kinzer is in the urban dictionary!

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UltimateGrownup 2 years, 5 months ago

Homosexuality is not a race and the term "discrimination" does not apply. Homosexuality is against the law in Kansas, as are many other kinds of self-defeating sexual behavior. It is hard to picture a law prohiting discrimination against the burglar race, the littering race, or the drunk driving race, to borrow the insane logic of those on the wrong side of this argument.

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Corey Keizer 2 years, 5 months ago

Being geriatric isn't a race either. But there are laws protecting them. Being a child isn't a race as well, but again, laws....

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Fossick 2 years, 5 months ago

Actually, homosexuality is not against the law anywhere in the US. See Lawrence v. Texas (2003).

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Corey Keizer 2 years, 5 months ago

Oh yea... and that whole thing. But good job UltimateGrownup, good job on making a totally invalid point.

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Mike Willoughby 2 years, 5 months ago

UltimateGrownup, if you want to live some place where homosexuality IS against the law, might I suggest you move to Uganda. Or Iran. You'll be in good company there, you freedom-lover.

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Corey Keizer 2 years, 5 months ago

Can't tell if Trolling or just very stupid...

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Fossick 2 years, 5 months ago

It's actually a reasonable point. Most people are perfectly willing to allow discrimination on the basis of sex, for example. That's why men can't join the women's basketball team at their local college. But that's different, most people say. It's not different, it's merely discrimination that is socially acceptable and/or is reasonable. So the questions is not and never has been "do we allow discrimination?" We do. It is "under what circumstances and for what reasons will we allow it?"

So let's take that to questions of "character." Should a college be able to discriminate against people who have "bad character," like forgers or wife beaters or war criminals, in hiring? Most people again would say yes. In fact, public colleges run criminal record checks as part of the hiring process in most cases. Should the NAACP be allowed to discriminate against Klan members in hiring? Of course. So we are even allowed to discriminate against those who have bad character.

The difference boils down to, one side of the debate considers homosexuality "bad character" and the other side does not. It's not a fight about discrimination, it's a fight about the social acceptance of certain behaviors and the people who do them.

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Corey Keizer 2 years, 5 months ago

TL;DR.

Joking of course. I understand that point, but I said what I said because the comment was implying that homosexuality is a "Chosen" character flaw, which I think we can agree is just plain stupid. Some of the other comments Gotland has made seem to be straight up trolls, but this one could have gone either way, hence the wonder... trolling, or stupidity?

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Fossick 2 years, 5 months ago

Gotcha. I inferred 'immoral' rather than 'chosen' from 'deviant.'

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Corey Keizer 2 years, 5 months ago

Whenever I start missing the 1800's, I look to political news from Kansas.

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Corey Keizer 2 years, 5 months ago

I should also add that whenever I start to miss being a part of comment flame-wars, I read the Lawrence Journal World.

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blindrabbit 2 years, 5 months ago

In the national standing, is the positive spin of The University of Kansas basketball team enough to overcome the negative press of this legislation? Already, the State is garnering quite a bit of notoriety and reputation with Brownback, Kobach, Phelps, bigotation, Dorothy, flat, featureless, Board of Ed., No Arts Funding, Goat Gland Doctor and the Koch-a-Kolas. " God bless us all, each and every one" (C. Dickens).

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Mike Willoughby 2 years, 5 months ago

DON'T RENT your property to HOMOs! UNLESS you want them to move in, redecorate, fix up the place, re-landscape and take care of the lawn, park nice cars in the driveway and in general raise your property values. Otherwise, DON'T rent to HOMOs.

PS Hey Kansas, there's this thing already in the US constitution called the first amendment that protects your religious freedoms, you don't need to legislate it any further.

PPS I'm a HOMO so I can say that!

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 5 months ago

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George_Braziller 2 years, 5 months ago

And the state of Kansas takes yet another step back toward 1890. Carrie Nation must be banging her hatchet on the coffin lid wanting to get out and join in on the fun.

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ksjayhawk74 2 years, 5 months ago

I just realized a loophole in the law. It allows people (presumably Christians in Kansas) to discriminate against people. However, if these people do discriminate, they are not true Christians. As Jesus is the example for Christianity, I know that he would not discriminate. Jesus had a way of accepting people no matter what, especially people who ignored and hated by others.

So since we know they're not actually Christian simply by discriminating, they shouldn't be allowed to use the new law.

Just like a cop who is found to accept basketball tickets to take care of some speeding tickets is no longer a cop and and cases they were involved in are trashed because the former cop has demonstrated they they did not do their job properly and can not be called to testify against the defendant, because they are no longer on the force, so they testimony is worthless.

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Theres_DOH_Place_Like_Kansas 2 years, 5 months ago

The Jayhawks need to BLOT OUT out the word "Kansas" on their basketball jerseys this weekend!

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excitable2761 2 years, 5 months ago

we are always trying to stop people like the westboro church and the politicans feed them more amunition. for christ sakes im all about the contitution but our fore fathers were in a different time and era,its time for us to step out of that era and make laws that apply to everyone not the ones who are not like me. i am sick of politicians standing behind anti - bullying and pass laws that do just that.its time for us as people to take the power from the politicians and make this land for THE PEOPLE once again.

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Fossick 2 years, 5 months ago

"its time for us as people to take the power from the politicians and make this land for the people once again."

Agreed. Two of the following three potential laws give power to the politicians. a) a law which states that you cannot do X b) a law that states that you must do X. c) a law that allows you to do X if you want (or even better, no law on X at all).

(c) is power to the people, because it leaves them alone to do what they want without politicians constantly intruding upon and directing and punishing them.

Most folks here seem to love (a) because they don't think it's right to do X and they think that politicians ought to enforce that idea of right on everyone else. They do this while screaming (rightly) that people who want (b) are trying to enforce their own idea of right on everyone else.

So if you want power to the people, you're going to be standing nearly alone against the Lawrence crowd. Be warned.

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Alyosha 2 years, 5 months ago

So there are religions in Kansas for which a main article of faith is that you can't rent to homosexuals? This is simply dressing up prejudice in religious terms.

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deec 2 years, 5 months ago

So can I demand stores stop selling shrimp and pork now, since they are forbidden in the Bible?

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Fossick 2 years, 5 months ago

You can discriminate against stores that sell them. At least for now.

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tscaf2000 2 years, 5 months ago

I believe we should preserve our religious freedoms. But not to the point of discrimination. We Christians believe that the bible is righteous to the end. If it happened in the bible then it is a written law (Commandment). Okay so be it. From the science side of the story we all evolved from ape. Ooops they too show a homosexual trait. Guess what. Doesn't matter what or why laws are written, we can fight them. But they're going to be approved anyway. Come on people we all live in a State, that allows people like Phelps to preach his maddness. Does it matter. If a landlord won't rent to a same sex couple, then we the people, need not rent from him either. And word of mouth is more harmful then law. People won't rent if you can prove what a dirtbag the landlord is. Okay...Enough said. It's a stupid law and a waste of our tax payer dollars.

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Randall Uhrich 2 years, 5 months ago

It's obviously unconstitutional. Too bad the courts don't do a better job of protecting society against these bigoted legislators.

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MarchHare 2 years, 5 months ago

Absolutely nauseating. I realize I moved from the East Coast to the Bible Belt folks, but I didn't think you'd be packing your government with so many mental neanderthals. Christ, At a time when Kansans are facing great uncertainty in their lives due to the economy as well as deep and unprecedented cuts to programs that support their health and welfare, how can any elected official in Topeka be serious about an issue that so few in the public count as either a threat or even a concern?

I'll admit, out in America where people are progressive minded, I'd never even heard of Fred Phelps or his bogus "church", HA, but from what I have seen in the last year living here, all I can think to say is that Rev. Fred Phelps, protests an army, and a nation, that tolerates homosexuality, based on his interpretation of the Bible (and cherry picking the doctrine therein he will honor). So what those of you, including the elected officials in favor of this "bill" are signing up to join his religion of absurdity and hypocrisy. Just something to think about.

Say and think what you will... whatever helps you sleep at night. But you're no more backwards, ill-informed, and annoying than he is.

There's no such thing as a (true) Christian full of hate.

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MarchHare 2 years, 5 months ago

Rather *No LESS backwards, ill-informed, and annoying.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 5 months ago

Lance Kinzer needs to go down like the Titanic. Anybody have the sack to run against him?

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 5 months ago

Campaigning would be a breeze. All you would have to do is publish his voting record and the bills he's sponsored. Over and over and over again.

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kansanjayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

I think you are wrong...because the majority of his constituents support the laws he is sponsoring and they support traditional family and moral values. They also do not support abortion as a method of birth control as you have stated that you do in the past...who is the extremist?

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kansanjayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

I think you might be "surprised" how many conservatives are in his district...he will be easily re-elected and yo can continue to yelp...

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kansanjayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

personal attacks are the modern liberals way! Really attacking the woman's picture is that the best you can do? Perhaps you might want to consider that her district is conservative and supports her positions on the issues? Just a thought...

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kansanjayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

The issue is really about religious liberty and the freedom of conscience! Every American should still retain the freedoms granted in the constitution and not be forced to accept and even subsidize lifestyles they do not support or condone!

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beanyncecil 2 years, 4 months ago

It's rather laughable that most of the people posting here bemoan the loss of their perceived rights while actively calling for Christians to be denied the right to practice their religious beliefs--a right granted them by a little thing called the Constitution of the United States.

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pace 2 years, 4 months ago

Tax the churches and require them to operate under legal labor law.

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