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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

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

jafs 9 months, 3 weeks ago

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

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jafs 9 months, 3 weeks 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.

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Ray Parker 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The PBS “Religion & Ethics Newsweekly” TV show broadcast on June 30 the pagan celebration in our National Cathedral of the Supreme “court” endorsement and promotion of sodomy by federal government. As free Americans and children of God, we have the right and duty to discriminate against immoral and destructive behavior such as homosexual acts, in our families, our homes, our churches, our communities, our businesses, our voting, our laws, our criminal justice system, our institutions, and our social constructs. One thing we must do is take back control of our National Cathedral from the pro-sodomy pagans and apostates, overseen by the Cathedral Chapter and the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation, chartered by Congress in 1893. Oust Gary Hall as tenth “dean” of the Washington National Cathedral.

Gary Hall

Gary Hall by parkay

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Ray Parker 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The PBS “Religion & Ethics Newsweekly” TV show broadcast on June 30 the pagan celebration in our National Cathedral of the Supreme “court” endorsement and promotion of sodomy by federal government. As free Americans and children of God, we have the right and duty to discriminate against immoral and destructive behavior such as homosexual acts, in our families, our homes, our churches, our communities, our businesses, our voting, our laws, our criminal justice system, our institutions, and our social constructs. One thing we must do is take back control of our National Cathedral from the pro-sodomy pagans and apostates, overseen by the Cathedral Chapter and the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation, chartered by Congress in 1893. Oust Gary Hall as tenth “dean” of the Washington National Cathedral.

Slippery slope

Slippery slope by parkay

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notajayhawk 9 months, 3 weeks 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.

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irtnog2001 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I think this is the death knell of marriage as a civil legal institution (church recognized marriage will continue for those so inclined). Recognition of gays right to marriage will ultimately open such a can or worms both legally and socially that marriage laws will eventually be taken off the books entirely and society will recognize no rights for anyone based solely on marriage. In gaining something they never had gays will eventually lose it along with everyone else. I am not anti-gay, I just think the societal benefit of the institution no longer makes sense if it is changed from the nuclear family context and we have started down a slippery slope where in the future everyone will have to sink or swim on their own merits in a brave new world environment without marriage benefits. Polygamists will be next asking for equal protection and on an on until out of exasperation the system just doen't make sense to retain. Mark my word in 50-100 years marriage laws will not longer exist.

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fiddleback 9 months, 3 weeks 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.

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Karl_Hungus 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks, Obama!!!!! Now women are going to make-out with ducks!!!!

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kusp8 9 months, 3 weeks 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. :-/

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weeslicket 9 months, 3 weeks 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?

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Robert Burnham 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Hey mom_of_three...how about cause it's nasty!

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Robert Burnham 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Let the people of Kansas decide....and if you don't like the results...and you don't like the politics....you don't like the elected officials...then get the F out....simple as that!

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midwest_muser 9 months, 3 weeks ago

This isn't about equality and everyone who is alert knows it. Real equality would when siblings can marry, polygamists can marry, anyone who wants to marry, can marry. This is about a well organized and funded group pushing for approval of their abnormal sexual habits. Would it be equality if blacks had rights that asians or hispanics do not? That's what gays want. Please stop condoning their behavior and their disingenuous and dishonest use of the term "equality".

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Lefty54 9 months, 3 weeks 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."

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Ray Parker 9 months, 3 weeks ago

There is no road to legalized homosexual mockery of marriage in Kansas. As free Americans and children of God, we have the right and the duty to discriminate against immoral and destructive behavior such as homosexual acts, in our families, our homes, our churches, our communities, our businesses, our voting, our laws, our institutions, and our social constructs.

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oldexbeat 9 months, 3 weeks 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."

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In_God_we_trust 9 months, 3 weeks 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).

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 months, 3 weeks ago

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

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anticommunist 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Marriage, a religious institution co-opted. For what? Oh, right. Any traditionalist immediately equals "bigot." Right, liberals?

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Chris Golledge 9 months, 3 weeks 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.

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oldexbeat 9 months, 3 weeks 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 ?)

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Jonathan Fox 9 months, 3 weeks 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.

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oldexbeat 9 months, 3 weeks ago

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

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msezdsit 9 months, 3 weeks 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.

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Patricia Davis 9 months, 3 weeks ago

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

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Mike1949 9 months, 3 weeks 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!

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