Bigots target gays in Kansas
by Kevin_Foley
 Politics Progressive
February 17, 2014 06:00 PM | 2471 views | 4 4 comments | 86 86 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
How far are religious zealots prepared to go in expressing their hate for the LGBT community?

How about all the way back to the segregated South of 60 years ago?

Last week, the Republican-dominated Kansas House of Representatives passed legislation that would effectively impose segregation on the state’s public accommodations.

Instead of African-Americans, however, the new law targets gay and lesbian couples.

It will be recalled that Adolph Hitler did something very similar in the early 1930s when he codified discrimination against Jews in Germany.

As reported by Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, “(T)he new law will allow any individual, group, or private business to refuse to serve gay couples if ‘it would be contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs.’

“Private employers can continue to fire gay employees on account of their sexuality. Stores may deny gay couples goods and services because they are gay. Hotels can eject gay couples or deny them entry in the first place. Businesses that provide public accommodations…can turn away gay couples at the door.”

Reading that last sentence, I couldn’t help but think of former Georgia Gov. Lester Maddox chasing black people away from his Pickrick restaurant with axe handles and guns in 1964 under the guise of “freedom.”

Speaking of governors, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a proud conservative Christian who, unlike Jesus Christ, hates gay people, thinks the proposed law is just swell.

"Americans have constitutional rights, among them the right to exercise their religious beliefs and the right for every human life to be treated with respect and dignity," Brownback told the Topeka Capital-Journal.

Evidently, in Brownback’s book, gays and lesbians aren't worthy of respect and dignity.

“And if a gay couple sues for discrimination,” adds Slate’s Stern, “they won’t just lose; they’ll be forced to pay their opponent’s attorney’s fees.”

The Kansas law also allows any government employee such as a motor vehicle clerk or police officer to refuse service or assistance to gay people if they feel interacting with a gay person violates their religious beliefs.

“(The law) is a blatant attempt to maintain second-class citizen status for taxpaying gay and lesbian Kansans." said Sandra Meade of Equality Kansas.

No doubt Republican legislators in other states who despise the LGBT community are eagerly watching how the Kansas legislation unfolds.

Thankfully, this bigoted, misbegotten bill may be D.O.A. when it reaches the Kansas Senate.

Republican Senate President Susan Wagle said late last week, “My members also don’t condone discrimination. If we cannot find ample common ground to ease legitimate concerns, I believe a majority of my caucus will not support the bill.”
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Kevin Foley
February 21, 2014
Chuck, Christian zealots are trying to frame this as a religious freedom issue as part of their over arching desire to push their beliefs on everyone else, which they believe is what Jesus instructed them to do.

But Jesus also instructed his followers to love their brethren, and that includes all of them, rich, poor, gay, straight, sick, healthy, black, white, whatever.

Brownback and the Kansas state legislature have thus twisted His teachings to fit their own perverse, hateful prejudices. They need to stop calling themselves Christians.
Chuck Anziulewicz
February 19, 2014
All the bakeries and photographers and caterers that people think are being so horribly put-upon? They aren’t in the business of providing spiritual guidance or enforcing moral doctrines. They are there to turn a profit. As such, they are obligated to abide by prevailing civil rights laws, whether those laws protect people from discrimination based on race, religion, or sexual orientation.

Should a restaurant owner be able to refuse service to Blacks because he has “moral objections” to race-mixing? Should an employer be able to fire a Muslim employee because he wants to run “a nice Christian workplace”?

If they answer to both question is NO, what justification is there refusing service to a Gay couple who wish to get a wedding cake or celebrate their anniversary in a restaurant?
Guido Sarducci
February 18, 2014
What a bunch of twisted malarkey. First of all the bill does not REQUIREanyone to disciminate. It affirms their right to choose with whom they associate. Quite difference.

Secondly, please tell me, unless a gay couple walks into a place holding hadns. or immediately goes into a lip lock upon entering the door, or wears signs proclainming, "Hey, Hey, we are gay", how the hell would a business owner know they were gay?

Third, NO PERSON, regardless of race, creed color, or sexual orientation has a Constitutional right to any goods or services which another person or persons must provide. The fact that I own a restaurant does not mean that you have a right to come into my restaurant and be served.

I am a vocal proponent of gay rights, but I am also a vocal proponent of other peoples' rights too.
Lib in Cobb
February 18, 2014
Kevin: You have more than adequately said it all. Thank you.

Unfortunately, Kansas is not the only state which has declared open season on the LGBT community. Even though the bill will never pass, the damage is done and hope fully, the thinking population of Kansas will demonstrate their anger at the polls.
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