Archive for Sunday, February 23, 2014

Kansas tea party group renews push for anti-gay bill

February 23, 2014


— A Wichita-based tea party group has launched an email campaign urging its members to pepper state lawmakers with messages in support of a bill that allows service refusal to same-sex couples on religious grounds.

Craig Gabel, leader of Kansans for Liberty, sent a message addressed to "conservative activists" asking them to contact senators who are refusing to allow a vote on a house bill dubbed the Kansas Religious Freedom Act, The Wichita Eagle reported.

The bill easily passed the House but was put on hold in the Senate after a nationwide outcry over what critics called state sanctioning of discrimination against gay people.

Supporters of the measure argue that it protects freedom of religion by allowing people to deny service if providing it "would be contrary to the sincerely held religious beliefs of the individual or religious entity regarding sex or gender."

One of the sample letters activists are asked to email to senators asserts that the bill also protects the freedom of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people by allowing those who own businesses to deny service to individuals who don't share their beliefs.

"If an LGBT couple owned a meeting space would any of us like to force them to rent it for an anti-gay rally and wedding?" the sample letter says. "Should an African American and his LGBT partner be forced to lease his space or services for a KKK wedding?"

Thomas Witt, executive director of Equality Kansas, a gay-rights group, said it's "false, start to finish" to assert the House bill does anything to protect gay rights.

"The sophistry is breathtaking," he said. "There's only one target in this bill and it is gay couples."

The only people who would benefit from the legislation are anti-gay individuals who would gain legal protection if they defy their employers and refuse to serve gay couples, he said.


Steve Jacob 4 years, 3 months ago

Business owners have to be sacred to death. Can you imagine a cashier at WalMart not checking someone out because they are gay? That sure is not a problem a national chain wants to deal with.

Bob Donahue 4 years, 2 months ago

Not to mention the contrary issue: a business owner can now demand that his employees reflect his "religious freedom" regardless of what the employee's beliefs are.

This would be wonderfully ironic if the business owner were Muslim applying it to his Christian employees; but these laws are really only "special rights" for (right-wing) Christians alone (no one seems to care about the religious freedoms of Christians whose churches are actually pro-marriage-equality).

Julius Nolan 4 years, 3 months ago

Wichita-based tea party group is all anyone needs to know. Have never seen a more hate-filled, so called christian area anywhere else in the country. The same area that spawned operation rescue and the killing of Dr Tiller, all in the name of religion.

MerriAnnie Smith 4 years, 3 months ago

I'm beginning to enjoy the spotlight. My friends, relatives and acquaintances from elsewhere are talking about Kansas as if it's the biggest news anywhere.

I like the attention.

I remember when I went back to my home state for my class reunion and everybody was asking, where's Topeka?

Now, they know.

Okay, so they're laughing. I can always point out that I'm not from here.

Barbara Emert 4 years, 3 months ago

I really wish they would pass the bill and then, in this small town, the minute someone was denied services there would be a major boycott of that business and the owner would learn that most of us believe in equality for all.

Mike Ford 4 years, 3 months ago

I wish a state Democratic politician would offer up a bill prohibiting grandstanding bigoted legislation in order to stop wasting the state's dime with pointless hearings. None of this right wing bills are legal. Denying access is in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution. These tea failures must not read the constitution much.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 3 months ago

" Kansans for Liberty" is lying to the public. If this hate group were about liberty then the gay community would be of no concern.

Some insight.

As these hate groups speak about the gay and lesbian communities they reveal how little they know about other people. In essence Kansans for Liberty are making crap up as they go thus demonstrating depths of ignorance beyond reality.

Bob Forer 4 years, 3 months ago

Kansans for Liberty

Ha ha ha. Now that's an oxymoron.

Bob Forer 4 years, 3 months ago

First Tax Cuts. Now This. I can already hear all the big corporations packing their bags and bringing jobs to Kansas.

Larry Sturm 4 years, 3 months ago

Jesus taught love your neighbor as yourself they must really hate themselves.

Paul R Getto 4 years, 3 months ago

The Insane Clown Posse continues to make us proud.

Andrew Stahmer 4 years, 3 months ago

...that's kinda what I was waiting for; the connection to Christians and their agenda. I'm a Christian and have no interest in the 'tea party'; I'm not the only Christian that feels that way--mind you I'm sure there are Christians that are tea party...but I'd also bet there are atheists that are tea party.

That was the first post I've seen with the connection though, so I find that encouraging. I think of the tea party people as a fad...and to me 'tea party' is very YESTERDAY! (I'm pretty sure I'm not the only Christian or even REPUBLICAN who agrees!)

Andrew Stahmer 4 years, 3 months ago

My name is still not appearing; and I don't want ANYONE to think I'm hiding behind anonymity. That post was by me---ANDREW STAHMER, fellow (long-time) Lawrence resident.

James Howlette 4 years, 2 months ago

Mine broke, too. It was working just fine not too long ago, and when I changed my user icon it broke.

Andrew Stahmer 4 years, 2 months ago

Looks like the moderator caught it and got it fixed. Thanks...kind of.

Stuart Evans 4 years, 2 months ago

I know a lot of atheists; and not a one of them is interested in the Tea Party; it is a christian right-wing organization; most people who have figured out that there are no gods, have also figured out what the Tea Party is all about.

Jeff Messick 4 years, 3 months ago

The tea party at work showing its true colors ... a collection of old, white, angry, scared bigots hiding behind a claim of being Christians. These are the people who started by carrying signs showing Obama as an old movie version of a witch doctor and comments of "go back to Africa" while saying there's nothing racial about these signs. Keep talking, tea baggers. There's nothing like the light of day to let people understand who you really are.

Steve King 4 years, 3 months ago

Google the TP population count. ~500,000 Nationwide out of 300,000 million. In Kansas 4,772. Wichita 655. Bonner Springs 20. Edwardsville 1. Overland Park 386.

You just need to get out and vote.

James Roper 4 years, 2 months ago

Hey, that's the tea party way:

Less government for corporations.

More government for YOU!

Jim Slade 4 years, 2 months ago

Oh the Irony:

The leader of "Kansans for Liberty" wants to have legal protection for denying someone else Liberty.

Greg DiVilbiss 4 years, 2 months ago

I suppose the next proposal will be to have citizens wear arm bands so we know who they are.

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