Wichita Hub

Tea Party Group Renews Push for Kansas Bill Legalizing Gay Discrimination

A Wichita-based tea party group is attempting to revive a Kansas bill that would allow religious-based discrimination against gays, with the group saying the bill is as much a protection of LGBT rights as it is a protection of the rights of Christians.The bill is currently blocked in the Kansas Senate after a group of Republican lawmakers, including Senate President Susan Wagle, joined the Democrat opposition last week. The Lawrence Journal-World reports:

Craig gabelCraig Gabel [pictured], 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. […]

“This is not a Christian battle this is a freedom battle, including the freedom of LGBT couples, the sample letter said. "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? 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, blasted the notion that the bill contains anything but pure animus directed at the LGBT community.

"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.

Anti-Gay Attack Reported in Wichita, Kansas

Wichita Two men walking in Wichita, Kansas were attacked by a group of men yelling anti-gay slurs, the Wichita Eagle reports:

Sgt. Jesse Boomer said two cars pulled up beside the 18- and 19-year-olds walking in the 1700 block of east Douglas, near Hydraulic, around 2:30 a.m. Six men, all in their late teens or early 20s, got out of the cars, accused the two men of "being homosexuals" and attacked them, Boomer said.

The victims drove themselves to a local hospital, where they were treated for minor injuries and released.

Wichita, Kansas School District Defends Publication of High School Editorial Citing Verses from Leviticus


The Wichita School District is defending the publication of a student editorial in the Wichita East High School paper that said same-sex relationships are not normal and cited verses from Leviticus that the author claimed suggested gays would be put to death.

An online petition calling on the school to retract the editorial has more than 1200 signers.

Wichitaeast LGBT groups that were planning a press conference in response to the editorial canceled it yesterday following the school's statement about the issue, which read, in part:

"East High Principal Ken Thiessen met with members of his school’s student organization representing students with alternative lifestyles, explained the circumstances leading to publication of this student opinion, and invited students with a different viewpoint to respond with their own opinion piece."

Read the student editorial HERE.

Read the school's statement, AFTER THE JUMP...

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