joejarvis (Joseph Jarvis)

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Comment history

Letter: God’s judgment

1. Why does the LJW continue to publish Carl's letters? There's something to be said for editorial control to protect the reader.

2. When are the other Burkheads in town going to write a letter in saying the rest of the family doesn't share his beliefs? There are some really nice folks in that family who are stuck with a bad image and perhaps too timid to publicly call out the crazy patriarch.

3. Carl, I know you think you're doing the town a favor by warning us. But telling a historically oppressed minority community they're going to hell for eternity is not helping anyone. If anything, that hurts people.

May 15, 2015 at 11:13 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Chamber proposes boosting spending to foster startup companies

Lawrence's economic development budget is relatively small, especially when we're competing against GO Topeka and Johnson County. We Lawrencians should think about how we could create a dedicated funding source for it.

April 21, 2015 at 8:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Religious freedom bill stirs controversy in Kansas Statehouse

@Gerald: I think you've made the case for the nondiscrimination policies we're talking about.

As an aside, do you always call your neighbors diseased and dangerous? Goodness knows what we'd get when you decided to be uncivil.

April 2, 2015 at 12:42 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Religious freedom bill stirs controversy in Kansas Statehouse

@Clark: Correct, a university rape support group would be obligated to admit members without respect to sex. As would a Jewish affinity club to admit a supportive Muslim. Or a black student group to admit a white student. Etc.

Any of these groups is welcome to form off campus and exclude members. But if they're on campus and affiliated with public resources governed by a nondiscrimination policy, then they would need to be open to all comers.

BTW, men are also (less frequently) victims of rape

April 2, 2015 at 12:35 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Religious freedom bill stirs controversy in Kansas Statehouse

@Fred:

> "Help me understand your last comment. You say the same principle applies because trait status and beliefs are two different things. That seems contradictory, but I might not be getting your point."

Nondiscrimination laws/policies are built around traits, like race, religion, and sexual orientation. The law is neutral as to whether you possess a majority or minority version of that trait. But the effect is to say that trait is not relevant to a decision about you. Separate from these traits are your beliefs. Are you a supporter of the neo-Nazi or pacifist Quakers or polygamists? I know it's a fine point, but your status as a minority under these traits and your mental beliefs are different. The gist of this distinction is that the traits are fundamental to your identity as a person and probably also associated with a history of inclusion/exclusion. Beliefs in contrasts are deemed changeable and not tied to these immutable/intrinsic characteristics.

So a gay person could believe in Christianity (or some other religion). A Christian (or some other religious person) could support LGBT equality. Thus, the thinking is that if the university protects traits X, Y, and Z, groups should accept all members without respect to those traits, and groups should only act with respect to beliefs.

I suspect for Christians who believe sexual orientation is a chosen conduct/belief, this seems ludicrous. But the thinking is for things society shouldn't expect you to change (religion, sexual orientation, race, gender, nationality, etc.), it's unfair to restrict membership based on that.

> "I believe individuals have the right to discriminate..."

American law agrees with you... except if you're a private business or government actor. Those are pretty big exceptions. That's attributable to federal and state constitutional equal protection clauses, substantive due process clauses, the federal Civil Rights Act, the Kansas Act Against Discrimination (and other states' analogues), and county/municipal human rights codes. They regulate public and private business, but not individual freedom of association. So your university group is open to all. And your public accommodation business is open to all. But you can exclude <insert minority> in private life, in your social fraternity (Boy Scouts, Knights of Columbus, etc.), and in your church.

March 30, 2015 at 9:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

New 'all gender' restroom signs at KU rec center welcome all

@Fred: Your comments are fairly disrespectful. If you had talked to a trans or genderqueer person for ten minutes, you'd understand the distinction between anatomical sex and gender identity.

That said, KU was doing backflips on this signage--how about an icon of a toilet?

March 30, 2015 at 8:13 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Religious freedom bill stirs controversy in Kansas Statehouse

I was the president of KU Law's LGBT affinity group when the Christian Legal Society decision that this attempts to overcome was handed down. Around that time there was also a CLS chapter at KU Law.

The gist of this is that university nondiscrimination codes almost all include sexual orientation as a protected trait. The Christian students sought to exclude gays... even though they were an official campus group with access to campus resources under the university's nondiscrimination codes.

My take is our LGBT group shouldn't be able to discriminate against a member based on their religion in violation of the university code, and the same principle should apply to religious groups for sexual orientation. That's because, as the Supreme Court noted in the CLS decision, trait status and beliefs are two different things.

The RFRA debate is related but different.

March 30, 2015 at 7:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Free speech?

Agreed, free speech is a bedrock and cherished American tradition worthy of defense, even when the speech is awful. Generally, the solution to hate speech is to counter it with non-hate speech, not censor/punish the person who said the hate speech.

But I think it's telling that the LJW chose to use its free speech not to condemn the hate of the OU students. Here, defense of free speech was a convenient way to score a point against liberals and the conservative bogeyman of "political correctness."

For any frequent reader of the paper, it astonishes me that this editorial page could be so much farther to the right than the community it serves. Why doesn't the paper have a published editorial board?

March 13, 2015 at 5:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Brownback names Federalist Society lawyer as new policy chief

Well this is disappointing. Brandon was in my KU Law class. If you had to pick the one socially conservative radical of the class, it would be him. Our first summer, as my classmates were clerking for judges and lawyers, Brandon interned for the most virulent of the anti-LGBT impact litigation groups, Alliance Defense Fund. When I was working to expand Lawrence’s human rights code to protect trans people, he was testifying against it to the city commission. When I was president of the school’s LGBT affinity group, he was leading the conservative group and trying to use their funding to bring in a national opponent of same-sex marriage. When the “religious freedom”/LGBT discrimination bill was bouncing around Topeka a few years ago, he was interning for the committee chairman pushing it. I still remember the first time we met. It was a mixer at a bar downtown for our law class. Everyone was eager and nervous since school had just started and we didn’t know each other. He came over and we started to talk. Within two minutes, he point blank asks, “Are you gay?” It was a total non sequitur and off-putting.

February 27, 2015 at 8:05 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Where are the best Christmas lights and sights in Lawrence?

@Eric Gruber for the win! Thanks for using those code and startup skills for this.

December 15, 2014 at 3:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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