Kansas lawmaker objects to non-discrimination in safe houses

Timothy Kincaid

January 8th, 2014

Here’s a tiny little story out of Kansas (Wichita Eagle)

Daric Smith, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s program director for child placing and residential programs, came before the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and Regulations on Tuesday to tell legislators how the department planned to implement the law.

Rep. Jan Pauls, D-Hutchinson, asked Smith why sexual orientation was included with gender and race in the nondiscrimination categories for admission to the secure facilities. She said state statutes don’t include sexual orientation among attributes for which Kansans are protected from discrimination.

“Anything that’s not under our discrimination statutes should be dropped out of the definitions of what legal discrimination is,” said Pauls, who helped author Kansas’ constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Most often when there is an objection to a positive policy, it’s a conservative Republican opposing an action or decision by a Democratic administration. But in this case, a Democratic lawmaker is so hostile to gay people that she is objecting to an action of the administration of one of the nation’s lease supportive Republicans, Gov. Sam Brownback.

Which reminds us that we must remain vigilant and not forget that anti-gay animus can come from any party or place.

Paul Douglas

January 8th, 2014

I guess the primary was yesterday:


January 8th, 2014


Let’s not pretend there’s any great mystery about where anti-gay animus comes from in our society. There’s only one source: Christianity. Sure you can find an exception here or there, but they are so exceedingly rare that they only reinforce the rule.

A quick web search reveals that Jan Pauls is not an exception. She and her husband own a church, and she even declared it as her legal residence when running for office.

It’s truly unfortunate that we find ourselves pitted against an enemy as formidable as Christianity, but we’ll never win if we don’t acknowledge reality.


January 8th, 2014

Merv, the problem is not Christianity. The fact that most of our opposition identifies as Christian doesn’t make Christianity our enemy. What are real problems: silent moderates, those who use a secular government to enforce their religious rules, and those who use religious texts to support their already-existing prejudices. As long as the fight is framed in terms of Christians vs. LGBTs, we will maintain a population of ambivalent moderates who can’t choose which set of freedoms to support. However, if we remind people that this is an abuse of power that has nothing to do with the teachings of Christ, then we can keep winning. No group is monolithic, and that includes Christians and Republicans.

Timothy Kincaid

January 8th, 2014

Pauls owns a FORMER church building.

Timothy Kincaid

January 8th, 2014


Interestingly, if the provisional ballots eventually rule her a winner, then she will face a Republican in the primary that is about 20 and a young gay man who just registered as a Republican so he could run against her.


January 8th, 2014

Nathaniel, you aren’t the first to propose people are using Christianity to justify pre-existing prejudices. I don’t see it. The intensity of anti-gay animus seems unique to societies rooted in Christianity and other Abrahamic religions. Before Christianity arrived in Europe, that level of hostility didn’t exist. It’s reasonable to conclude the prejudice arrived with Christianity, and is still with us because of it.

Timothy, it’s more than a little bizarre to live in a church. This isn’t NYC where high real estate prices force people to improvise. Not only that, she’s co-leader of the Christian prayer group in the state legislature.


January 9th, 2014

“…it’s more than a little bizarre to live in a church. This isn’t NYC where high real estate prices force people to improvise.”

Actually, if you use Google Images to search “churches turned into houses” (with the quotation marks) you’ll find many former churches people have purchased and turned into private homes all over the world – many in suburban and rural areas. Some of them are quite beautiful! Quite a few of them have been feature on HGTV’s “Extreme Homes.”

While it may not be something a lot of people would want to do, I don’t think living in a what used to be a church necessarily implies the family has fundamentalist beliefs (or is religious at all).

People have also converted old airplane fuselages into homes…IMO, that is pretty strange (but to each his own).

That she’s a co-leader of the Christian prayer group in the state legislature is much more telling, however, than the fact she lives in a converted church.

Corey Mondello

January 9th, 2014

The Democratic Party puts up with MANY right wing “D’s” aka Douche Bags. Main reason why I despise them, wont give them money, will only vote in local elections for labor/worker pro-union Dems who also tend to be in the mind set that all people are created equal and deserve to be so. The majority of the Dems, even in MA, my state, suck ass. I’m ok with a few, but any who support Obama’s TPP or De Blassio in NY are fakes!


January 9th, 2014

She is a conservative democrat in kanas so this does not exactly surprise me. Kind of like a couple democrats in texas trying to out conservative their republican colleagues.


January 9th, 2014

Er, the Primary in the Paul Douglas’ link was in 2012:

Published: 8/7/2012 10:54 PM

Timothy–I take it your reference to who’s running is for 2014? It would be wild if the Gay “Republican” won.


January 9th, 2014

Merv, I can’t say I’m very familiar with other European societies besides the Romans and Greeks. The Romans were a bit squeamish about male-male relations, and mocked the more open-minded Greeks for being pansies. Even the Greeks varied in the view, depending on which city-state you were in and the time-period. Indeed, as I recall from my anthropological studies, most societies with room to spare or lots of enemies tended to condemn any sexual practices that weren’t potentially procreative. That is to say, the general pattern seems to be less religious, and more a matter of controlling a population’s growth. That, of course, is not going to apply to everybody, because humans tend to defy being easily boxed up, but it does seem to explain certain societal patterns.

I have also known many anti-gay Christians who, when put to the test, ultimately reveal that it is their revulsion to same-sex sexual acts (often male-male) which supports their theological stance, not the other way around. When I debated my father on the matter, that is what it ultimately came down to; he even admitted that at one point in his life he almost agreed that having same-sex relationships was not sinful, until he learned of all the “disgusting” things gay men do together. I know one anecdote hardly represents the majority, but if you pay attention, you hear it all the time. Look for key phrases like “… besides, it’s disgusting.” That’s not someone clinging to sterile rules in a book; that is someone justifying the rules with their own personal prejudices.

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