Diane Silver

Good News from Kansas

Filed By Diane Silver | February 04, 2010 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: ENDA, Kansas, Kansas Equality Coalition

A Kansas legislative committee has approved a bill outlawing discrimination against LGBT people. This is the second year the Senate committee has passed the bill, but it's the first time this has happened early enough in the session for the measure to have a chance of getting a floor vote.

Kudos to the Kansas Equality Coalition for pushing and pushing and pushing on this bill. At best, this can be called the beginning of the process, not the end, but it is always good to see a victory, particularly in bright red Kansas.

The money quote:

Sen. Roger Reitz, R-Manhattan, noted the national discussion about ending the military's "don't ask don't tell" policy.

"The bottom line," he said, "is we've gotten to a place we are finding these types of things are really not acceptable."

Disclosure Alert: I helped found the Kansas Equality Coalition, but I no longer serve on its board or work with the group.

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Good to hear that this is happening at the state level. Kansas is ahead of the curve on this one.

BTW, does this affect the WBC, other than the fact that they'll probably start a "God hates Kansas" website?

Alas, this doesn't do anything to Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. Trust me, there's nothing Kansans would like better than to shut Fred up, but short of repealing the First Amendment, which I most decidedly don't support, there's nothing that can nothing one legally to Fred and his vocal followers. People have tried, and failed, for years.

By the way, I think Fred and his minions already have a "God hates Kansas" site, or at least, a post up on their site. When I first moved to Kansas almost 24 years ago, one of the first things I saw was Fred and family picketing at the University of Kansas with signs declaring that Bob Dole was a "fag." The Phelps have also attacked numerous federal judgegs and other public officials.

It's unclear whether this includes gender identity or expression. Does it?