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Archive for Sunday, June 30, 2013

Advocates for gay rights still face long road to marriage equality in Kansas

June 30, 2013

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— Don Haider-Markel, chairman of the political science department at Kansas University, said the issue of gay rights and same-sex marriage sometimes comes up when interviewing candidates for jobs at KU.

He said both gay and straight candidates raise concerns about whether they will feel comfortable in a state that has a statute and constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

"It is definitely a stumbling block," said Haider-Markel, whose work has focused on sexual orientation in the political system.

Advocates for gay rights say those kinds of concerns may be raised even more often after last week's Supreme Court rulings that favored gay rights.

Now there are 13 states and the District of Columbia, making up a third of the country's population, that allow gay marriage. That number may increase in the next year or so as gay rights groups seek legislative or ballot campaigns in states like Illinois, New Jersey and Nevada, and others.

In Kansas, however, advocates for gay rights say they have a long and probably litigious road ahead of them.

Eight-year-old amendment unaffected in Kansas

The court ruled that same-sex couples married in states where gay marriage is recognized are entitled to the same federal benefits and programs as opposite-sex married couples. In another case, the court essentially allowed same-sex marriage in the nation's most populous state, California.

The court's ruling on DOMA leaves unanswered numerous questions that will probably require more lawsuits, said Tom Witt, executive director of the Kansas Equality Coalition.

For example, will the IRS for tax purposes recognize same-sex marriages if the couple has moved to a state that doesn't allow same-sex marriage, Witt asked.

"It will take some time to sort this out," he said.

Even Gov. Sam Brownback, who as a U.S. senator voted for DOMA, declined to comment on the decision, saying that he was still reviewing it. "Before I get out there on some statement I'd want lawyers flyspecking it," he said.

Repealing the 2005 state constitutional amendment that allows only marriage between a man and a woman seems nearly impossible at this time. The amendment also declares only opposite-sex unions are entitled to the "rights and incidents" of marriage.

It passed with nearly 70 percent of the vote, and to have a re-vote on the measure would first require two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate, which has become even more conservative since 2005.

Haider-Markel said he is not aware of any polling that has been done to gauge Kansans' opinions on gay rights, but he suspected the ban on same-sex constitutional amendment would pass again today.

But Witt said if put to another vote in Kansas, it would be closer. "And it's not just because of the national mood," he said. "People don't like watching their grandkids, cousins and friends targeted by the radical right. And we are a lot more organized," he said.

Opponent of same-sex marriage sees changes in Kansans' attitudes

The Rev. Terry Fox, founding pastor of Summit Church in Wichita, who was instrumental in getting the same-sex marriage ban amendment approved in Kansas, agrees that today the vote would be closer, but says the outcome would be the same.

Like elsewhere, Fox said, gay marriage is becoming more accepted in Kansas.

"That is due to the media, Hollywood, and frankly the third reason is the homosexual community has been much more motivated than the non-homosexual community," Fox said.

Fox also said that there aren't as many platforms as before "for those who think homosexuality is a perversion and sinful. You're not going to hear that at KU, or K-State or Wichita State," he said.

Fox was disappointed in the court rulings, but said his major problem with them is that courts, rather than the people, are deciding what is moral. He said that should be upsetting to both sides of the issue.

Fox said it is possible that some time in the future Kansans will vote to repeal the constitutional ban.

Witt said he would like to see that day but conceded, "Politics is the art of understanding what's possible."

He said supporters of gay rights in Kansas will push for incremental changes aimed at making it illegal to discriminate against gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender persons in the workplace and housing, and increasing anti-bullying efforts in schools.

For example, efforts are under way in Topeka to put together an ordinance that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation.

"Wherever the community is ready to grant LGBT people some semblance of equality under the law, we're going to ask the community to put itself on the record," he said.

Comments

Mike1949 1 year, 5 months ago

Kansas is too well known for discrimination and being raciest, that won't change any time soon! Being backwards is the legislation's goal, I know, I live here!

Phoghorn 1 year, 5 months ago

If Kansas is so "raciest", then I would expect to see far more novelty shops along I-70. Wait, that would be "racyist". No, I take that back - "racyist" would mean "to be against racy things". Okay, I am confused now.

Patricia Davis 1 year, 5 months ago

I think Sam is too concerned to show the tea-party base that he has Kansas under his control to allow for equality.

msezdsit 1 year, 5 months ago

" Advocates for gay rights still face long road to marriage equality in Kansas"

Lets see, you could say "Advocates for (blank) still face a long road in Kansas. You could put education, children, civil rights, women's rights, middle class, reducing poverty, voting rights, and on and on and on and on and on................................................

As long as we have the right wing "people are our enemy" making the calls this will worsen.

oldexbeat 1 year, 5 months ago

Kansans for the Cure of Fundamentalism -- new group. Just started. We can help, but you have to want to be cured.

weeslicket 1 year, 5 months ago

you seem to be almost now cured, edward.

Jonathan Fox 1 year, 5 months ago

First off, I'd like to say that I'm all for laws against LGBT discrimination. At no point should anyone be demeaned for something about themselves. It's time to separate the atrocious people who have a problem with the LGBT community, and those of us that simply have a problem with same-sex marriage.

However, at stake here is not who is or is not eligible to marry but what marriage is. There are excellent secular reasons to think that marriage is a conjugal union - the type of union that only a man and a woman can form - rather than just some sort of emotional bond that any two (or more) adults can form.

Marriage is an institution with a purpose. It is a purpose that establishes a culture; the family, and is the best way to raise our children to be contributing members of our society and community.

Marriage is aided by the state for this reason, not simply because of an emotional bond between two people. By redefining marriage, we will cause corresponding social harm. It weakens the rational foundation of the stabilizing marital norms on which social order depends: norms such as permanence, exclusivity, and monogamy.

Simply conferring benefits to same-sex relationships does not do this but redefining marriage in the public mind does.

Redefining marriage distorts the idea of what marriage is. It will teach our future generations that marriage is nothing more than an emotional fulfillment, we will lose the institution that reinforces the notion that men and women bring different gifts to child-rearing.

Chris Golledge 1 year, 5 months ago

So, you justify imposing your beliefs on others by defining marriage to be for the purpose of having children. It should not be necessary to describe how weak that argument is. I do not see that marriage has ever been defined to be for purpose of having children; so. it appears that you are the one trying to redefine it.

M. Lindeman 1 year, 5 months ago

I believe you are the one wanting to redefine the meaning.

Jeff Kilgore 1 year, 5 months ago

Yes, only those who have their vision of society can decide for others! That's freedom!

Sean Livingstone 1 year, 5 months ago

Marriage has no meaning to modern society.... if we can clearly define inheritance, spouses able to be on your insurance and enjoy welfare as other heterosexual spouses etc... we do not need to be married to procreate.... you can literally sleep with someone and then have a baby.... you can also adopt a child... the worry you will have is when someone can claim you as the supporter.... if it's your sperm. Many many other issues... and we need to be proactive in making these adjustments to our laws and then we won't need marriage after all.... and then we'll walk out from the divorce mess.... and cheating problem, if the society chose so....

Chris Golledge 1 year, 5 months ago

"...permanence, exclusivity, and monogamy..."

a) What makes you think social order depends on these? b) What makes you think there is any difference between heterosexuals and homosexuals when it comes to living by these standards?

Chris Golledge 1 year, 5 months ago

What makes you think that recognising same-sex marriages prevents anyone from having a different-sex marriage and raising their kids as you see fit?

ebyrdstarr 1 year, 5 months ago

In many, many societies, marriage is fundamentally about property ownership. Marriage was a means of consolidating wealth and power. Western history certainly is replete with examples of this practical view of marriage, not the view you've claimed.

Garth Atchison 1 year, 5 months ago

Last I checked children were not a condition of marriage. Lots of married people never raise a family for a variety of reasons. The state recognizes the legality of marriage and recognizes the rights of those individuals in the partnership in regards to each other. The state has nothing to do with religion as far as marriage is concerned. No one is forcing churches to perform marriages for gays and lesbians--they probably wouldn't want to be married by your church anyway. Divorce rates prove that straights don't have better marriages because they are straight.

parrothead8 1 year, 5 months ago

It seems like you're saying that people in same-sex marriages can't establish families.

JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 5 months ago

If there is only one purpose for marriage, then by your argument, men should divorce their wives once they've passed through menopause. Similarly, the state should not allow two heterosexual people to marry if one or both of them is sterile. Lame argument.

chootspa 1 year, 5 months ago

I see you've gotten the memo about the latest talking points.

Don't buy it.

Marriage is about family. Sure, but you don't get to define "family." Two dads and a kid is as much of a family as an elderly couple who meet late in life and have no kids or a man and a woman with no intent to ever procreate. By making the argument that it's all about the kids, you have all sorts of messy and unintended consequences. I doubt you had a problem with childless couples before you decided to get threatened by gay marriage, and now you're dooming gay couples to be childless by redefining the marriage to suit your current fancy. Yes, I said you were redefining it.

Marriage has always been redefined. Unless you think marriage is between a man his wives, his concubines, and his slaves. You know -- biblical marriage. Oh wait, maybe you think marriage is between two members of the same race. Like it was in the US before Loving V Virginia. Or do you mean the traditional marriage sometimes practiced by the pre-Columbian Navajo, where a man would marry a woman and her sisters? The traditional practice of the Pawnee where a man and his brothers sometimes shared wives and all lived in the same household? That sort of traditional marriage? It's a big world. There are all sorts of traditional marriages.

Marriage is aided by the state for a reason. Because it is a package of legal rights and responsibilities surrounding joint ownership of property, custody of children, medical visitation, and power of attorney. It's nothing to do with emotional bonds. Nor is it something that can only exist with one gender. Social norms evolve. They're in the process of doing so now, and you, my friend, are on the wrong side of history on this one.

oldexbeat 1 year, 5 months ago

Yup. You said it. So Dr. Timmy Huelskamp ("I'm the brightest person in Fowler, Kansas") should include the prevention of any divorce in his new Federal Defense of Marriage Constitutional Amendment, right ? I mean if you defend it you have to stop allowing people to end it. I gues the expression "You break it, you own it" comes to mind. (Sorry, but that Old Testament thing of the Christian's seems to talk alot about virginity and stoning women to death. Guess that will be part of Huelskamp's new law -- death to non-virgin wives ?)

Jeff Kilgore 1 year, 5 months ago

"The brightest person in Fowler, Kansas," is beyond hilarious. I'm originally from Western Kansas, and I approve this sarcasm.

oldexbeat 1 year, 5 months ago

He actually said that at a public meeting. Ironic, huh.

Chris Golledge 1 year, 5 months ago

"Fox was disappointed in the court rulings, but said his major problem with them is that courts, rather than the people, are deciding what is moral. "

So Fox believes that the moral views of the majority should be imposed on others. That's kind of why we have a judicial branch, Mr. Fox, to prevent the rights of the minority from being taken away by the majority.

ebyrdstarr 1 year, 5 months ago

Fox clearly doesn't understand what the decision was about. The court was deciding what was legal. And they decided it wasn't legal for the federal government to ignore marriages the people of 12 states and the District of Columbia said are valid.

Chris Golledge 1 year, 5 months ago

If you believe it to be a religious institution, then you should have a problem with the state imposing a law regarding the practice of religion.

If traditionalist means: "I want to impose my views upon how you live your life just because I find who you are offensive, even though I can not demonstrate how what you do affects me." , then yes, that is right.

mom_of_three 1 year, 5 months ago

traditionalist?? seriously.... you can believe that marriage is between a man and woman and chose to marry only the opposite sex. But you can't force your beliefs unto someone else when it denies or nterferes with their equal rights.... and finally, it was recognized by the courts.
be a traditionalist all you want, but yes, u might be considered a bigot because you are denying someone their equal rights.

Jeff Kilgore 1 year, 5 months ago

Marriage, a quasi-religious, societal institution evolving to include people who want their private relationships validated to fit the needs of an increasingly tolerant society. Kansas, not always as bigoted as you think, despite the right.

PS, 1960 called. They want to know if white and black people can marry.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 5 months ago

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

In_God_we_trust 1 year, 5 months ago

Romans 1:21-32 Because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful: but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore (for this reason) God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature (the creation) more than the Creator, who is blessed forever.

For this cause, God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise, also the men, leaving the natural use of the women, burned in their lust one toward another: men with men, working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet: (reward of their error which was appropriate) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient: (not appropriate) Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, debate (argumentative), deceit, malignity: whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents. Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worth of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Romans 2:2-4 ...But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And think thou (you) this O man, that judges them which do such things, and does the same, that thou (you) shalt (will) escape the judgment of God? Or despise thou (you) the riches of His (God's) goodness and forbearance and long-suffering: not knowing that the goodness of God leads thee (you) to repentance (change, turning away from evil and back towards God).

oldexbeat 1 year, 5 months ago

the illness of fundamentalism can be cured but you have to want to be helped. let us know.

mom_of_three 1 year, 5 months ago

you forgot the parts about marrying mutiple wives, slaves, concubines, rape victims, not eating seafood, etc. So why only follow some parts and not all of it.

In_God_we_trust 1 year, 5 months ago

Romans 8: 3-10

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law would be fulfilled in us, who walk (live our lives) not after the flesh, (sensual worldly mind) but after the Spirit. (following after God) For they that are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be (worldly and fleshly) carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity (set) against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man (person) have not the Spirit of Christ, (Jesus) he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life (to you) because of righteousness. (Jesus righteousness).

mom_of_three 1 year, 5 months ago

yeah, you still didn't answer my question... what about the rest of the book.....

In_God_we_trust 1 year, 5 months ago

Actually the first answer given is an answer to your question. The things that you point to sound like they are in the Old Testament. Depending on the time when they lived, some of those people lived before the law was given. Some during the law. No man or woman has ever performed the law perfectly, all have sinned whether they have lived under the the law or not. So people today can not depend on their good works or their obedience to the law to save them or make them acceptable to God and heaven. God demands perfection. The only one who performed the law to perfection and fulfilled the law perfectly is Jesus. That is why people need to accept the sacrifice he made on the cross so He can give you His perfect record of righteousness and write your name in the Lamb's book of Life, so your name is on record in heaven as being as acceptable to God as His Son Jesus. (Because His Spirit then dwells in you). The law was given to make people realize that they can never on their own, perfectly keep the law or be sin nature free, and show them that they need Jesus' salvation that was freely provided for all the people of the world to accept. Actually the law was given to show everyone that they have a sin problem and that the only way to be free of the sin nature is to invite Jesus into your heart, believing that Jesus died for your sins, nailing them to the cross, and that Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day. He lives eternally, and resides in heaven with God the Father and the Holy Spirit now. If you ask Jesus into your heart, He will recreate a new human spirit in you, getting rid of the old sin nature (which is after the same nature of the devil). In essence, people go from being a son of the devil, to a Son of God through a change in their spiritual nature in their heart.

oldexbeat 1 year, 5 months ago

or stoning to death non-virgin women wanting to get married. That's what it says. That book. Not my book, but...

Patricia Davis 1 year, 5 months ago

Stephen Hawkins was right: religion is fairy tales for grown ups.

In_God_we_trust 1 year, 5 months ago

John 12:47-48 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same will judge him in the last day.

Liberty275 1 year, 5 months ago

In your book, what God did to Mary was vile. Do you think God should be stoned?

In_God_we_trust 1 year, 5 months ago

John 8:7 ...He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone...

bad_dog 1 year, 5 months ago

The question asked was whether YOU thought God should be stoned, not whether it was theoretically possible for someone to do so.

oldexbeat 1 year, 5 months ago

United States Constitution -- Article VI, paragraph 3:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

parrothead8 1 year, 5 months ago

It seems like you misunderstood something.

oldexbeat 1 year, 5 months ago

wow. Reading is not required to write, I guess. NO RELIGIOUS TEST SHALL EVER BE REQUIRED... says it all. Why do the righwing nuts always overlook this part of the US Constitution -- ? Because they don't like it , I guess.

Liberty275 1 year, 5 months ago

"NO RELIGIOUS TEST SHALL EVER BE REQUIRED"

It also say's the right wing nuts that hold elective office can inform their decisions with their religious beliefs.

Todd Kennedy 1 year, 5 months ago

Or..... what the PEOPLE that ELECTED them want.... And for matters of separation of CHURCH (cough religious beliefs) and STATE...

Lefty54 1 year, 5 months ago

Rachel Maddow took Ralph Reed to school on Meet the Press this morning. She said-

"Gay people exist. There's nothing we can do in public policy that makes more of us exist, or less of us exist. And you guys have been arguing for a generation that public policy ought to essentially demean gay people as a way of expressing disapproval of the fact that we exist, but you don't make any less of us exist. You just are arguing in favor of more discrimination, and more discrimination doesn't make straight people's lives any better."

mom_of_three 1 year, 5 months ago

that was pretty good. she needs to get in mike huckabee's face and say it. i would pay to watch that in person

mom_of_three 1 year, 5 months ago

i think the population of the planet is pretty secure.

weeslicket 1 year, 5 months ago

from the article: Even Gov. Sam Brownback, who as a U.S. senator voted for DOMA, declined to comment on the decision, saying that he was still reviewing it. "Before I get out there on some statement I'd want lawyers flyspecking it," he said.

to repeat: governor brownback states:: "Before I get out there on some statement I'd want lawyers flyspecking it," he said.

to repeat again: governor brownback:: "flyspecking it" he said.

Our Governor Brownback: flyspecking kansas since 199?

kusp8 1 year, 5 months ago

Haider-Markel Seinfeld always 'focuses his research' on the topic at hand. He was an uppity self-centered professor when I went to KU, glad to see somethings never change. :-/

fiddleback 1 year, 5 months ago

The "long road" could hardly be better illustrated than by the facile anti-equality arguments posted above.

First, an attempt to strike a moderate pose by claiming no qualm with LGBT orientations or anti-discrimination measures, yet still proposing continued denial of equal rights and benefits to committed same-sex couples. It's a perfect example of the pointless semantic rabbit hole about the definition of marriage, plus an example of baseless yet pervasive propaganda about societal decline, both obscuring the very real rights at stake. Indeed, the obfuscating tactics have created such a thick fog that a person adopting them could meanwhile claim to be anti-discrimination, oblivious to the glaring cognitive dissonance...

Next, some self-aggrandizing indignance as a "traditionalist" claims to be a victim of liberal intolerance and name-calling. Plus some hyper-partisan paranoia in suggesting a vast conspiracy to co-opt our civilization's most sacred relationship, one that historically was a property contract by which a man bestowed his daughter and a dowry like so much chattel. I've heard this argument before, and these "traditionalists" painting themselves as victims of oppression threatens to break my irony scale. And sorry, but while I might call such "traditionalist" arguments illogically retrenched and willfully obtuse, I wouldn't call their adherents bigots until they expressed something a bit more openly hateful. For now let's just say they're in denial about a sublimated prejudice.

Finally, the most calcified and cloistered argument, the Biblical quotation suggesting literalist interpretation. This theology is of course impervious to any rational discussion about the veracity of the source material or its historical development by various authors. There is presumably no questioning let alone doubting the supernatural infallibility of the exalted text. Therefore there is nothing to discuss, only another bitter irony to consider as we see draconian theology transmitted via microchips and wi-fi.

voevoda 1 year, 5 months ago

If marriage disappears as a legal institution, irtnog2001, it will be because people who think as you do prefer to destroy it rather than share it with gays.

oldexbeat 1 year, 5 months ago

actually, why do we care if one marries a few men or women at one time or just in a line. I mean, Liz Taylor had five husbands, one of them twice. That was legal.

Doesn't matter to me if you sleep with one guy or two guys or three women at a time. It is not my business, as long as they are adult and agree. No slavery.

IreneAdler84 1 year, 5 months ago

Yes, yes. Dogs and cats living together. The end of the world as we know it. Blah, blah blah. If you can't win the argument with logic, invoke fear of the unknown. Bring on the Zombie Apocolypse!!!

notajayhawk 1 year, 5 months ago

"For example, will the IRS for tax purposes recognize same-sex marriages if the couple has moved to a state that doesn't allow same-sex marriage, Witt asked."

Not sure where his confusion is coming from. Two sentences from the ruling:

"DOMA contains two operative sections: Section 2, which has not been challenged here, allows States to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed under the laws of other States."

and

"This opinion and its holding are confined to those lawful marriages."

Seems pretty sorted out to me.

jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

If we think that stable, committed relationships are a good thing, and worth valuing and supporting, then we'll keep doing that, even if we expand the borders of marriage.

jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

My post is not meant to be a response - the formatting was changed by the site.

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