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Archive for Friday, May 25, 2012

Brownback signs bill blocking use of Islamic law

May 25, 2012, 10:26 a.m. Updated May 25, 2012, 1:54 p.m.

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— Gov. Sam Brownback has signed into law a bill aimed at keeping Kansas courts or government agencies from basing decisions on Islamic or other foreign legal codes.

Brownback's office notified the Senate of his action Friday, but he actually signed the measure Monday. The new law will take effect in July.

Muslim groups had urged him to veto the measure, arguing it promotes discrimination. Supporters say it simply restates American values.

Supporters have worried about Shariah law being applied in Kansas courts. However, they also point out that the bill doesn't specifically mention codes within the Islamic legal system.

Instead, it says courts or other tribunals can't base rulings on any foreign law or legal system that would not grant rights guaranteed by state and U.S. constitutions.

Comments

kawdog 1 year, 10 months ago

The problem as I see it is the perpetual tug of war between those thoughtful people who, in sincere humility, acknowledge their incomplete knowledge and understanding of reality, admit of the possibility of our subjection to higher orders of consciousness and will, and those people who either fear admittance of such possibility lest it slide into superstition and brutality, or who themselves are superstitious and brutal.

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wobblyH 1 year, 10 months ago

When Brownback's term churns out wealth and prosperity for KS, Scott Rothschild will probably will be either out of a job or just report on low level Topeka news.

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EmmieB 1 year, 10 months ago

the First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the equal and uninhibited rights of all men regardless of religion. This is what brings us the term "separation of church and state" which means that religious affairs must always be separated from political affairs. A distinction needs to be understood between Sharia law and United States law, and while Sharia may be used to dictate one's personal life it cannot be used to make political decisions that influence the lives of others. Example: A court judge, if he is Muslim, cannot make decisions based on his own personal biases but must base his decisions on the laws established by the United States justice system. It's just as unfair for a Christian judge to treat a case unfairly if either of the parties, prosecution or defense, has a difference in religious affiliation: example it wouldn't be right for a Christian judge to ignore a witness testimony if said witness turns out to be Jewish or an atheist. Religious law must not be confused with political law. It violates the First Amendment by giving Muslims an unfair footing in politics and in the justice system if their Sharia law is allowed to be just as powerful in society as State laws. Religious law can apply to one's personal practices, but never be used to interfere in state affairs in a country that promotes religious freedom and equality. I think it's unfair to single out Muslims with a law such as the one signed into effect Everything I said SHOULD be common sense: what I said about Muslims ALSO applies to Roman Catholics, Hassidic Jews, the Amish, and any and every other religion The Amish have existed in this country since its founding, and they have their own societies, their own religious beliefs and ideals that dictate how their lives are run, but these beliefs do not interfere with state politics: the United States judicial system is unaffected by the Amish and the rules within their tight-knit communities. Likewise, the Muslim communities far and wide may have their own rules, and Muslims may have their own way of living and practicing their faith, but, like the Amish, they still respect the country in which they reside, and their religious beliefs and ways of living do not conflict with the United States judicial system. by targeting a specific group, Governor Brownback is making himself look like an idiot. The First Amendment states, that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" NO LAW issued in the United States shall support OR oppose any religion. This law directly opposes Islam while ignoring every other religion. YES, there should definitely be a separation of church and state. However, this applies to ALL religions, not just Islam, and I think Governor Brownback is a FOOL for putting forth such a law in the first place, since all it does is: state the obvious that has been in affect since the birth of this nation

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ssteve1 1 year, 10 months ago

lj world reports, "Brownback sneezes". 240 posters can't believe it, and demand repubs be thrown out of state.

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Lartist5 1 year, 10 months ago

Their time would have been better spent passing a law that protects us from monsters under the bed....

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akuna 1 year, 10 months ago

Gov. Brownback's hypocrisies know no bounds.

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observant 1 year, 10 months ago

Thank God, we have a Legislature and a Governor that recognizes what a great danger this is. The re-districtricting and budget problems are definitely not as important as this. Not to mention also that tax cuts for the rich rank ahead of budget problems. After all brownie assures us that tax cuts will create instantly 10's of thousands of new jobs that will give us a budget surplus in 2013.

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Charlie Bannister 1 year, 10 months ago

Good job Governor. Keep up the good work.

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pigballin 1 year, 10 months ago

Islam= evil in every way. Ship muslims that want Sharia law out of the country to the North Pole.

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Gareth 1 year, 10 months ago

Somebody should also ask the next obvious question -- is a Governor who is a member of Opus Dei, and therefore obviously basing his decisions on foreign (in this case Vatican) influence, now barred from serving due to this law?

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Gareth 1 year, 10 months ago

Whoops. We're all in trouble.

Murder is barred by Sharia law ( specifically under Qisas, which involves personal injury and has several categories: intentional murder (first-degree), quasi-intentional murder (second-degree), unintentional murder (manslaughter), intentional injury, and semi-intentional/unintentional injury).

Sam Brownshirt has just blocked the use of Sharia law in Kansas -- or basing decisions based on any foreign legal code.

I guess that means that murder is now legal in Kansas....

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bigtoe 1 year, 10 months ago

Congratulations Governor Brownback. Outstanding move. You are courageously correcting everything Kathy Sucubus did to this State. The next step is implementation of the voter ID law topped off next year by the enactment of a carbon copy of the Arizona immigration law after it is upheld by the Supreme Court this June. Thank you Governor Brownback!

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 10 months ago

Great!! Now, how about a law that prevents the so called "christian values" being restricted from codification in law also. Most all of the fables in the bible have been quoted to bolster some of the stupid and goofy laws that so called "conservative" christians have advocated.

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Roland Gunslinger 1 year, 10 months ago

Ironically, this law doesn't apply to businesses. Big business lobbied to make themselves exempt.

I guess they are A-OK with sharia.

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Brock Masters 1 year, 10 months ago

Everyone is ragging on the governor about signing the bill but are you equally upset with Davis, Ballard and Holland who voted for the bill? Without the legisture passing the bill the governor would not have anything to sign.

Let's oust Ballard, Davis and Holland for voting for this horrible bill - what's that? Oh I see they get a pass cause they're D's.

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costello 1 year, 10 months ago

It's discouraging to me how many citizens don't seem to have even the most basic understanding of the law. People have the right to contract. If I make a contract with someone and that contract doesn't violate any U.S. or state law, then the courts should enforce the contract if I have to sue. If I negotiate a contract with a resident of Washington State, and the contract includes a clause saying that disputes will be settled in a Kansas court using Kansas law, and the other party tries to sue in Washington, that court should enforce the clause. We bargained for that, and it should be enforced. It's no one's business but mine and the other party's. I'm not trying to force Kansas law on the entire country - just the other party in this dispute. And he agreed beforehand.

If I make a contract to have someone murdered and the other party refuses to fullfill his obligations under the contract by carrying out the murder, I'm not going to find a court to enforce that contract. It's illegal to murder people. If the contract violates the law, it's unenforceable.

That's the way it already works - even without this silly sharia law thing the governor signed. A Kansas court isn't going to enforce provisions of a contract which violate the state's public policy. They will enforce provisions which the parties have agreed to and which don't violate the law. Why is that not okay? Why can't I make a contract and have it enforced?

My understanding is that at least some Muslims negotiate their marriage contracts. I had a friend, for example, whose father didn't trust the man her daughter had picked for a husband, so he had added to the marriage contract provisions designed to safe guard her financial interests should this rather feckless man decide to divorce her. She mentioned this to me on several occasions, and I could tell she took great comfort in it - because her husband really was an unreliable jerk. They live in a U.S. territory. If they divorce, should the judge refuse to enforce the contract? She will certainly walk away with more under this contract than under the divorce law of the territory she lives in. Both parties agreed to the contract. Why should it not be enforceable?

The legislators who passed this law and the governor who signed it know - or should know - how the law works. They know this law gives no protection we don't already have. The sole purpose of this law is to play on the fear and bigotry of ignorant people. It's inexcusable. It just adds more fuel to the fire of hate that's already burning in this country.

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Joe Hyde 1 year, 10 months ago

In the event our Kansas Legislature suddenly experiences difficulty coming up with more xenophobic ideas that need the governor's signature to become law, I'd like to offer some help in advance.

Republican legislators can introduce a bill making it illegal for any person physically located in Kansas to inhale air from the opposite side of the planet. Planet earth, that is.

The atmosphere on Mars, they've apparently already had some of that stuff trucked in and are hyperventilating on it.

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RibMan 1 year, 10 months ago

I support women's rights. Anything that minimizes their rights I am four square against. I am also pro-gay rights. Anything that diminishes their rights has no place in our law. I am familiar with Sharia law. From my reading, it is hostile to women and gays.

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commonsenseanyone 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm so tired of the religion known as Islam.

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OzD 1 year, 10 months ago

Does this law impact covenant marriage? Just for certain religious groups?

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tange 1 year, 10 months ago

Given it's non-American roots in the work of Clausius (not Santa), Kelvin, Planck, and Boltzmann, Brownback signs bill blocking use of... the second law of thermodynamics: "The entropy of any isolated system not in thermal equilibrium almost always increases." As a result, perpetual motion machines of the second kind now are possible in Kansas.

/ gotta love the second law... "almost always"

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Sparko 1 year, 10 months ago

So I guess Catholics can't impose their will on contraceptive availability and abortion is now a personal oral choice not subject to radical religious zealotry in Kansas? Phew. Dodged a bullet.

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FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 10 months ago

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

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pace 1 year, 10 months ago

He should have been signing a bill assuring services to help returning veterans. No deal , Koch don't care, Brownback will pose for pictures besides the wounded.

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Brock Masters 1 year, 10 months ago

I can imagine the uproar by those criticizing the Governor for signing the law if a judge applied Canon law to a court case.

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Liberty275 1 year, 10 months ago

This is weird. I sitting here reading comments by American citizens criticizing a law that forbids the use of foreign laws in our courts. That just doesn't make sense.

Unless the underlying law comes out of the UN. For some strange reason, a mouthy group of Americans seem to want the UN to have more control over the US. That puts a lot of the above comments from the left in perspective.

Blue helmets on American streets other than training will never be acceptable. At least not on my street.

I salute you, Mr Brownback for keeping the UN and every every other legal system except our own out of our courts. Good job. Now delete about half the laws and I might like it here. Also, federal legislators and Mr President, you can delete about half of your laws too. They are just as, if not more, onerous than Kansas law.

As for you American citizens willing to give yourself over other organizations or countries laws or religions, please feel free. Do as you wish and arbitrate as you wish, but just remember, our laws written, or adopted by congress from the precursor to our legislation, in our country are the law of the land and the only code that belongs in our courtrooms.

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toe 1 year, 10 months ago

Smaller government, lower taxes. Great Governor.

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tange 1 year, 10 months ago

He wrote his own name? He actually attached his name to this?

/ just remember that yourself is steam

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Armstrong 1 year, 10 months ago

Maybe the pro-sharia folks should take a long tour of the Islamic countries to see first hand how it works. What a bunch of idiots. Thanks Sam for some common sense - what Larryvillers lack

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1 year, 10 months ago

Does freedom of religion also mean freedom from having the racist, bigoted policies of the "official" religion of The Guv foisted upon us? Or is his "official" religion the only one that has freedom of religion?


@ Morichalion "This is, quite literally, a do-nothing 'law.' " Pretty much like everything The Guv and his "I don't want any Democratic votes" legislature have done for two sessions.

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Shane Garrett 1 year, 10 months ago

Alyosha, America was founded on freedom of religion and the 10 commandments of the old testament were the foundations of our moral laws. The other laws are contractual in nature. Have no fear Sam Brownbacker is here.

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Alyosha 1 year, 10 months ago

So that means Christian "laws" like the Ten Commandments can not be used as the basis for American law, yes?

Realizing that the Bible was written in the Middle East, before English existed, it is a clearly "foreign'" yes?

Or do Kansans believe that Jesus and the Catholic Church were Americans, not foreign Romans?

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Glenn Reed 1 year, 10 months ago

This is, quite literally, a do-nothing "law."

There's no reason to get excited because some "victory" over sharia law happened, because there was no such victory. Get enough radical woman-hating "islamist" psychos in our government, and we'll be subject to "sharia" law anyway. Much like the radical woman-hating "christian" psychos in our current government are doing.

There's no reason to get angry because some bigoted twerp signed a bill banning foreign law, because we weren't subject to a foreign law to begin with.

If we're to get excited or angry, it should be about the time taken by our state legislature taking this from concept to signing.

"Yay for wasted time!" or "Boo for wasted time!" That's really the only two options here.

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bunnyhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

The issue here is not Sharia law. The issue is the complete and total lack of rational and reasoned thought behind any of the many radical policy changes enacted by our governor and legislators. These changes affecting all Kansas have been made primarily on the basis of promoting "Christian" values--although they are wholly inconsistent with the Christian values I was taught as a child growing up in Kansas by parents and grandparents who grew up in the state of Kansas. There is not even a hint of the Golden Rule in these policy changes. They are throwing life as we know it out the window as fast as they can. Regardless of where we are on the political spectrum, Kansans are going to be cleaning up the tragedies and messes made by this lot for generations to come. Sam Brownack is, without a doubt, the worst single thing to have ever happened to the once glorious State of Kansas. I guess some of us will sleep better knowing we are safe from the vast Muslim hordes storming across the plains of Kansas. Thanks, Guv!

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Biscayne 1 year, 10 months ago

Gov Brownback, you did the right thing, If people don.t want to abide by our laws, they need to leave this country.

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1 year, 10 months ago

hmmm Some Islamic laws are based on very narrow interpretations of the Quran made by fundamentalist Muslims. In that sense, the Quran is a foreign legal code. However, some of our laws are based on very narrow interpretations of the Bible made in large part by fundamentalist Christians. I say this because according to many of them there are no other true religions. The Bible then becomes a foreign legal code.

Hence, The Guv has signed into a law disallowing the use of both the Bible and the Quran when developing our laws.

He has also disallowed the use of the Magna Carta from which, if I remember correctly, habeas corpus is derive. "No freemen shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." Hence, The Guv has signed into law a document which allows him to disregard habeas corpus in Kansas.

The Code of Hammurabi also falls into the list of disallowed foreign legal codes.

As a result, if The Guv doesn't want to reference any foreign legal documents, the he should cause Kansas to secede from the Union so he can (or ALEC and the Kochs) can write a new Constitution saying, 'so the government of The Guv, by The Guv and for The Guv shall not perish from this Earth'. (NOTE: you can substitute "Koch" for "The Guv;" that's who he works for anyway.)

Again, another useless law. We have no viable budget and the redistricting is going to court so The Guv can point the finger and fix the blame when he doesn't get his way. We have a useless legislature supported by The Guv (also useless) and the people of Kansas are going to suffer because of it.

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weiser 1 year, 10 months ago

I don't think women should drive or go to school, but I think selective ones should cover their faces. Bring on the Muslims!

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tomatogrower 1 year, 10 months ago

So Christians wouldn't try to usurp the law of the United States, would they? Listen to this radical. Radical is radical - Muslim or Christian

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Haiku_Cuckoo 1 year, 10 months ago

In 2007, a Muslim man in Maryland cited religious law when he wanted to give almost nothing to his wife upon their divorce. Are some of you posters fine with that sort of thing? I don't like #heblowsalot but he's doing the right thing here by using US laws in US courts.

The result of that Maryland case: http://mdcourts.gov/opinions/coa/2008/108a07.pdf

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autie 1 year, 10 months ago

So kansasjayhawk, what you are saying is the Muslim law cannot be allowed? Then what about that Bible? It's out too, fair is fair. Nothing but the secular...by your own hand Sam you deny your C Street mantra. Hypocrite.

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kansanjayhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

The Constitution and statutes of the U S should be referenced by our courts not sharia law or any other foreign law document.

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 10 months ago

I don't have a problem with this law in theory. The Constitution is and should always be the law of the land, and religious traditions should not supersede the Constitution, be they christian, islamic, jewish, hindu, etc.

I do have a problem with the lawmakers who wrote the law, trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist, and in doing so intimidating a religious minority in this country.

All religions have moderate and extremist camps within them. Islam right now is dominated by extremists, as christianity was until the Enlightenment and which many seem to want again.

Let's hope that in the long run, a law such as this will protect us from the overreach and excesses of fundamentalist christianity, denying civil rights for religious reasons (abortion, gay marriage, etc.).

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KansasLiberal 1 year, 10 months ago

I guess that we're trying to out-crazy Oklahoma in an attempt to become the craziest and most bigoted state.

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MYOB 1 year, 10 months ago

Please read up on shariah law if you don't understand it. People say it will never happen, but I bet those are the same people that would have scoffed if you'd said the twin towers would be brought down by terrorists.

Thank you Governor.

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Brock Masters 1 year, 10 months ago

This is an issue because a judge applied Islamic law when dealing with domestic abuse case. Had the judge's ruling been allowed to stand the woman would have been subjected to abuse.

Hence, clarifying that all citizens, women of different faiths included, are protected by US law is a good thing.

I've heard a lot of complaints but no specifics. How will anyone be adversely impacted by this law?

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Shane Garrett 1 year, 10 months ago

In 1916, Roosevelt observed: “Wherever the Mohammedans have had a complete sway, wherever the Christians have been unable to resist them by the sword, Christianity has ultimately disappeared” (ditto Judaism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism …). Roosevelt rejected as “naive” the notion that “all religions are the same.” Some religions, he explained, “give a higher value to each human life, and some religions and belief systems give a lower value.” Our “social values,” including equality before the law, exist “only because the Christians of Europe (did) what the Christians of Asia and Africa had failed to do – that is, to beat back the Muslim invader.”

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somedude20 1 year, 10 months ago

Ooh my little pretty one, pretty one. When you gonna give me some time, Shariah? Ooh you make my motor run, my motor run. Gun it comin' off the line Shariah Such a dirty mind. Always get it up for the touch of the younger kind. My my my i yi woo. M M M My Shariah

"I drank what?"- Socrates 469-399 BC

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pace 1 year, 10 months ago

Why do we ever think Brownback will back away from bigoted, crazy, loony bills? He loves them.

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boltzmann 1 year, 10 months ago

So I guess that using English common law is now out. That ought to shake things up.

Seriously, isn't a ban on abortion part of Catholic Canon Law coming out of the Vatican? Damn furiners.

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skinny 1 year, 10 months ago

Sign the bill, it says nothing about Shiria Law in its wording.

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number1jayhawker 1 year, 10 months ago

Sign it! This isn't about whether or not we believe in freedom of religion (which we do), it's about keeping Muslim Laws that are very anti female out of our state.

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johndeere 1 year, 10 months ago

Distant got it right, sign the bill. US law is our law. If Muslims don't like it, then leave. Our law was in place when they came to America.

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distant_voice 1 year, 10 months ago

This time, Gov. Brownback is finally doing something right. Americans would not expect our Government to interfere with their religious practice, but neither would we expect the Government to uphold religious laws when they run counter to our State's and our Country's laws. Just like Christian and Jewish beliefs, Muslim beliefs have no place in our legal system.

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weiser 1 year, 10 months ago

Sign it and put in Shariah law!

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Abdu Omar 1 year, 10 months ago

Thank you, caughtinthemiddle for decrying what is truth. Kansas is a great place for everyone to grow and be educated. Kansas is the best of America and without this atrocious bill to claim how bigoted and anti-anything not Christian we could be seen to be. There are many religious faiths in Kansas and America, let's welcome them all, keep to our great Constitution and not show prejudice.

Please VETO the bill.

Thank you.

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Greg Cooper 1 year, 10 months ago

Dear Governor Brownback,

You've done enough damage to our state by your actions. Please, please do not let this heinous bill become law by your inaction.

Veto this bigoted bill with no uncertainty, and make a statement decrying the spirit in which is was introduced.

The State of Kansas has become a cauldron of faux-Christian social engineering, and this bill gives credence to the idea that only "Christian" values are wanted here. At least this time, let the nation know that we are not the leaders in bigotry, that the melting pot we came from is still the U.S. ideal.

Veto this bill, Governor, and do something right for the state.

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