Posts Tagged As: Kansas
August 24th, 2016
Five states, led by Texas, and several nonprofit medical groups, all of which are religiously affiliated, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday challenging the Obama administration’s efforts to ensure health care coverage to transgender people under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“On pain of significant financial liability, the [Health and Human Services Department’s] Regulation forces doctors to perform controversial and sometimes harmful medical procedures ostensibly designed to permanently change an individual’s sex—including the sex of children,” the complaint in the lawsuit alleges.
The lawsuit also contains claims challenging abortion-relation coverage protections in the same regulation, specifically highlighting the lack of a religious exemption in the regulation or underlying ACA provision.
The lawsuit was filed in Northern District of Texas, the same district where Texas filed its thirteen-state lawsuit seeking to block the Obama Administration’s interpretation of Title IX of the Civil Rights Act to extend discrimination protections for transgender people under the law’s provisions based on sex. This latest lawsuit was assigned to Federal District Judge Reed O’Connor, the same judge who last week issued a preliminary injunction against the Administration’s Title IX efforts.
The four other states joining Texas are Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska and Wisconsin. The lawsuit also is filed on behalf of several religiously-affiliated nonprofits, which are represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
August 3rd, 2016
In a surprising development, Tea Party darling Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) lost his primary bid for re-election to congress. Huelskamp was so tea-baggy that the representative from Kansas’s vast first district representing 63 farming counties voted against the Farm Bill because food stamps! He also voted against the Export-Import Bank, which played a huge role in promoting farm exports. His disruptive antics got so bad that he got kicked off the Agricultural Committee — making it the first time Kansas went unrepresented on the farm committee for more than a century.
And by the way, he’s extremely anti-gay, although that likely had zero effect in this campaign.
Anyway, the surprise wasn’t that Huelskamp lost. Pols showed that the primary race was very close to political novice Roger Marshall. Which was surprising when those polls first came out. But Huelskamp was, after all, an incumbent backed by the Koch brothers, so it seems that most people thought he could still pull this one out. So the surprise now isn’t just that he lost, but that he was so soundly thrashed:
Huelskamp, first elected to Congress in 2010, lost to Roger Marshall by a large 13-point margin in a year that has seen just three House incumbents toppled. Marshall will likely win the general election in November to represent the 1st Congressional District, as the district is heavily Republican and there is no Democratic challenger.
Marshall was the candidate of the establishment, and it’s unclear if his win portends anything larger for Republican House members who many fear will be damaged by the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump. So far during the primary season, worries that angry voters would boot out incumbents have not materialized.
The race became increasingly close in the final weeks leading up to the primary, as well-funded conservative and business groups poured in $1.5 million to shape the outcome.
Marshall, an OB/GYN, was supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts’s superPAC. Perhaps more critically, Marshall was also supported by the Kansas Farm Bureau. Huelskamp received support from Club for Growth, Heritage Action, and the Koch brother’s superPACs.
The Freedom Caucus, which is what Congressional tea partiers call themselves, are blaming GOP leaders for Huelskamp’s loss:
Republicans need to be unified behind conservative principles to stop the Obama/Clinton agenda,” Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said in a statement. “The House Republican leadership’s opposition to Tim Huelskamp significantly damaged the ability of House Republicans to do that.”
House Republican leaders don’t control outside spending and had nothing to do with the nearly $2 million in anti-Huelskamp ads that poured into his district from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Ricketts family’s Ending Spending political group.
But that’s not the crux of the caucus’ anger. Huelskamp approached Ryan seeking a public assurance that he could reclaim his seat on the House Agriculture Committee next year, a critical position for his farm-heavy district. Boehner (R-Ohio) backed an effort to remove Huelskamp from the panel three years ago as punishment for repeatedly defying leadership in big votes, something Ryan promised he would never do.
The loss of his committee seat was likely Huelskamp’s undoing: Marshall attacked him relentlessly for being ineffective and putting “rigid” conservative values over the needs of his constituents.
The Freedom Caucus got heavily involved in the back and forth with leadership, imploring Ryan to go public with an alleged commitment to reinstall Huelskamp on the panel. But the speaker declined.
This tmeans it’s probably a good time to break out the popcorn. Or a pleasant merlot:
Turns out Speaker Boehner is indeed enjoying Kansas primary night. Just received this from former staffer! pic.twitter.com/hIzmFt8hn0
— carl hulse (@hillhulse) August 3, 2016
Huelskamp reintroduced the Federal Marriage Amendment in Congress in 2013 immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act”. The FMA would ban same-sex marriage nationwide. Huelskamp reintroduced the proposed amendment in February 2015 at the start of the 114th Congress. As a state Senator, he authored the Kansas 2005 constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage and civil unions in that state.
July 11th, 2016
First, let’s start with the good news: on Saturday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) signed a transgender rights bill into law. Massachusetts’s anti-discrimination law had previously protected against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in housing and employment, but there was a special carve-out for public accommodations for its gender identity provisions. This new law, which goes into effect October 1, eliminates that carve-out and allows transgender people to use the restrooms and changing facilities consistent with their gender identities rather than their identified gender at birth:
The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) will adopt policies to enforce its provisions, a statement from the governor’s office said.
“No one should be discriminated against in Massachusetts because of their gender identity,” Baker said after signing the bill Friday.
“This compromise legislation extends additional protections to the commonwealth’s transgender community, and includes language to address the public safety concerns expressed by some by requiring the attorney general to issue regulations to protect against people abusing the law.”
And there’s more good news: Washington state’s comprehensive anti-discrimination laws have prohibited sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations for more than a decade with nary a problem with any of it. Last December, the state’s Human Rights Commission clarified that law by issuing new regulations ensuring access to restrooms and changing facilities according to an individual’s gender identity. That clarification produced a backlash, which led by some conservative Republicans to roll hack the regulations. When that effort failed in the state Senate, anti-LGBT campaigners filed Initiative 1515 (PDF:19KB/8 pages), which would have restricted access to public school’s “private facilities” to those who are “biologically” male or female. It would also allow people to file lawsuits against school systems that allow access to facilities based on gender identity.
The campaign backing I-1515, Just Want Privacy, had until last week to turn in 246,000 signatures that would be needed to get the initiative on the ballot. Last Thursday, campaign officials notified the Washington Secretary of State Office that they were cancelling their appointment to turn in the petitions.
But it’s not all good news for the pro-T camp. Ten more states, led by Nebraska, filed a federal lawsuit on Friday seeking to halt the Obama Administration’s trans-rights rulings to Title VII and Title IX funding and its recent to schools instructing them to develop anti-discirmination policies protecting transgender students which would include allowing them to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. According to Buzzfeed’s Chris Geidner:
The Nebraska-led lawsuit contains many of the same claims raised in the Texas-led lawsuit, often repeating the same exact language as appeared in the Texas complaint.
Despite naming the same defendants as in the Texas-led lawsuit, however, the Nebraska-led lawsuit appears to focus on protections relating to transgender students — asserting that students have the right under federal law to use a restroom in accordance with their gender identity. Nonetheless, it does name the Education, Justice, and Labor departments, as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as defendants and asks for relief against all of those agencies’ transgender-inclusive policies.
Nebraska’s attorney general, Douglas Peterson, is joined in the suit against the Obama administration by the attorneys general of Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
The lawsuit has been assigned to be heard by U.S. District Court Judge John Gerrard, nominated to the bench by President Obama in 2012. Gerrard previously had served as a justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court.
With this filing, exactly half of all states are involved with federal lawsuits challenging the Obama Administrations pro-trans policies.
July 9th, 2015
The last state in the Union to hold out offering state services to gay citizens has capitulated. Kansas held off for nearly two weeks while they “studied” the Obergefell Supreme Court ruling to see whether and how it applied to the state’s various departments.
Governor Sam Brownback, a fierce opponent of treating gay citizens with equality or decency, refused to direct the state’s various divisions to apply the law. He chose instead to issue an executive order that the state ignore any anti-gay discrimination by religious entities that contract with the state to provide taxpayer provided services such as adoption. Lacking direction from the executive branch, compliance with Obergefell has been spotty.
Earlier in the week, most state services had been revised. On Tuesday, state employees were informed that they can add same-sex spouses to their retirement and health plans and that married couples can change their names on their state identity cards.
But the Department of Revenue had still not agreed that a Kansas breadwinner could add her wife and children as dependents on her income taxes. But finally that barrier has fallen and it now appears that every state now recognizes same-sex marriages as valid and equal (bnd.com)
The disclosure of the policy change was made in a filing Thursday asking U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree to dismiss a lawsuit filed last year by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of gay and lesbian couples.
The state’s lawyers submitted an affidavit from Department of Revenue policy director Richard Cram. He said the agency’s policy against joint tax returns for same-sex couples is no longer valid.
November 12th, 2014
Dark purple – marriages now may occur
Light Purple – states are in circuits which have found for marriage equality
Red – the Sixth Circuit has upheld the bans on equality in these states
The state of Kansas has run out of measures by which to prevent the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Supreme Court just chose to deny stay in their latest appeal. Only two justices, Scalia and Thomas indicated a desire to have the judicial ruling overturning Kansas’ anti-gay marriage ban put on hold until heard by the highest court.
There are many ways to read this decision. Perhaps the likeliest is that seven justices agree that the court is unlikely to rule with the Sixth Circuit that states may prohibit gay citizens from sharing the same access to civil proceedings as heterosexual citizens. Also, that only two justices are so vehemently anti-gay as to spitefully wish to force gay Kansans to wait for their day of equality.
Personally, I think it also suggests that this may not be a 5-4 decision when it is finally decided.
Meanwhile, also today a federal judge ruled that South Carolina’s anti-gay ban violates the constitution. He has placed a temporary stay until the 20th for that state to request a more permanent stay from either the Fourth Circuit or the Supreme Court. Based on the Kansas decision, it is safe to assume that such a stay will not be granted.
November 4th, 2014
Kansas is in the Tenth Circuit, which has ruled anti-gay marriage bans unconstitutional. The Supreme Court opted not to hear an appeal to that ruling, which establishes that states within the Tenth Circuit are bound by the Appeals Court’s ruling.
Same-sex couples requested that the federal courts direct Kansas to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and now a federal judge has done so. (Topeka Capital-Journal:)
Judge Daniel Crabtree, in a written ruling, granted a preliminary injunction that had been sought by the ACLU of Kansas on behalf of two lesbian couples who had been denied marriage licenses in Sedgwick and Douglas counties. The injunction will prevent the state from enforcing the ban on same-sex marriage found in the Kansas Constitution.
However, marriages will not begin immediately. Crabtree stayed the injunction until 5 p.m. on Nov. 11.
The state has a week to appeal Judge Crabtree’s decision, which – by all accounts – would be a waste of time and state resources. Should they inform him earlier that they will not appeal, the stay will be lifted at that time.
The odds are that Governor Sam Brownback will happily waste the taxpayers’ money on a futile attempt to appeal so as to grandstand on the issue. However, as the election is today, it’s possible that he’ll not see any political value to foolish, time-consuming, wasteful, quixotic efforts and will allow couples to marry sooner than next Tuesday.
October 6th, 2014
With today’s Supreme Court non-decision, about 53% of all Americans now live in jurisdictions with marriage equality. That’s twenty-four states and the District of Columbia. Indiana, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and Utah will open their clerk offices to same-sex couples as soon as the various Federal District Courts go through their formalities. Those formalities are already out of the way in Colorado, Oklahoma, Virginia and Utah. Things are happening so fast I wouldn’t be surprised if Indiana gets the go-ahead before I finish writing this post. Meanwhile, you can expect that Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming will follow suit any day now, since they too are now bound by the decisions already handed down in the in the 4th Circuit, 7th Circuit, and 10th Circuit Courts of Appeals.
The biggest wild card remains the Sixth Circuit, which heard oral arguments last August in a Michigan challenge to that state’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. That court also heard oral arguments from four other states — Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee — challenging those states’ bans on recognizing legal marriages from out of state. If the Sixth Circuit goes all contrarian and upholds any of those bans, then we could expect the issue to be dropped once again at the Supreme Court’s footsteps.
And to think that barely over a decade ago, our relationships were still criminalized in fourteen states.
Now, it’s possible that the three-judge panel in Cincinnati may rule against marriage equality. It’s also conceivable that a three-judge panel in the Fifth, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits could uphold a same-sex marriage ban in, say, Louisiana, for example.
But if one did, it seems much more likely that the entire circuit would step in for an en banc decision. But even if that didn’t happen, then sure, maybe an anti-equality decision could conceivably make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. But by then, some two-thirds or more of all Americans are likely to be living in marriage equality states. Would the Supreme Court go back and overturn all of that? That now seems preposterous. Today’s non-decision is the new law of the land.
February 27th, 2014
It would appear that the outcry over Arizona’s license-to-discriminate bill that was finally vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer last night may have reached something of a high water mark. Major companies, business group, professional organizations, and major league sports all came out with strong statements denouncing the bill in the moments leading up to Brewer’s veto. Typical was this one from Yelp’s CEO Jeremy Stoppelman:
SB 1062 would serve to create an environment where consumers would not know how they would be treated – or whether they would even be served – when they patronize a business. This bill goes against the rule that every great business subscribes to, which is that the customer is always right. It will not only be bad for customers, but also bad for local business in the state. I also believe that it would be in consumers’ interests to be made aware of businesses within the state that did engage in discriminatory behavior. Since early 2010, Yelp has hired over 650 employees in Arizona. Over the next few years, we hope to hire hundreds more. It would be unconscionable for the state to encourage discrimination against any of them.
Arizona joins three other states in putting an end to their license-to-discriminate bills in just the past twenty-four hours:
Over the past several weeks, license-to-discriminate bills have been defeated or withdrawn in Colorado, Kansas, Maine, Tennessee, and Utah. But we’re not out of the woods yet. Similar bills are still working their way through Idaho, Missouri, South Dakota, and Georgia, where Atlanta-based Delta Airlines has announced its opposition. The Idaho bill was returned to a House committee last week, with the sponsor saying he wants to “find the right language.” In addition, there’s a push to put a similar measure on the ballot in Oregon in November.
February 19th, 2014
Last week the Kansas House of Representatives passed a broad and sweeping bill to “protect the religious beliefs” of individuals and businesses who object to same sex marriage and who wish to discriminate against gay couples. In addition to providing that businesses need not provide the commercial trappings of marriage to gay couples, it also allowed individuals – whether in a private capacity or as an employee of a business or even a civil servant – the right to claim religious exemption from providing the services of their company or of the state. In a final ‘gotcha’, it excluded same sex couples from the right within the state to sue for discrimination.
The Kansas House, comprised mostly of Republicans, voted 72 to 49 for the bill. What happened next is interesting.
As could be expected, civil libertarians, civil rights activists, and supporters of gay equality all decried the bill. And legal scholars pointed out that after Romer v Evans, excluding a class of individuals from the right to legal recourse was on it’s face unconstitutional.
But, nevertheless, most pundits expected the Kansas Senate, also controlled by Republicans, to pull out a big rubber stamp and join in on the bacchanalia of bigotry.
Surprisingly, they did not.
It seems that the GOP Senators, unlike the GOP Representatives, took a look at their political alliances, their hope for a future reputation, and the implications of this bill on the Republican brand, saw this for what it was: an invitation to treat gay people cruely. And the bill now appears dead. (NY Times)
Susan Wagle, a conservative Republican who is president of the Kansas Senate, raised opposition to the House measure, saying she had “grown concerned about the practical impact of the bill” and “my members don’t condone discrimination.”
Ms. Wagle was backed by Senator Jeff King, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, who said he would not hold hearings on the House bill.
But it was not merely Wagle’s conscience that led to the bill’s demise. It was also the objections of Business and Religion.
As written, the bill would put employers – especially small businesses – in an awkward and complicated and likely expensive position. Staffing would be based on the personal beliefs of employees rather than on the needs of the market and in a less-than-stellar economy this was a burden that could kill a company with only a few employees.
Opponents included the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, which said that the measure could lead to increased costs for businesses. The chamber took particular exception to a provision in the bill that said that if an employee of the government or “other nonreligious entity” objected to providing a service based on religious beliefs, the employer would have to find another employee to fill in or find some other way to provide the service.
Businesses were “not interested in getting into these guessing games as to someone’s intent and whether a strongly held religious belief is legitimate or not,” said Mike O’Neal, the president of the chamber.
And the claim about “protecting religious beliefs” was damaged by strong opposition to the bill by some religious groups. The Episcopal Church led the religious opposition in the strongest terms. (HuffPo)
For Episcopalians, our faith is unequivocal. Our Baptismal Covenant asks, “Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself? Will you strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being?” Promising to strive for justice and peace among all people and to respect the dignity of every human being requires us to be adamantly opposed to legislation that does none of these things.
Our biblically based faith calls us to live out the command of Jesus Christ to love one another. You cannot love your fellow Kansans and deny them the rights that belong to everyone else.
And they were not alone. Less conservative churches are now increasingly speaking up to counter the message that faith is universally anti-gay. (UPI)
Many ministers in the state oppose the bill and say it has nothing to do with religious freedom. Kate McGee of Presbyterian Trinity Church in Topeka, Aaron Roberts of Colonial Church in Prairie Village and Chad Herring of John Knox Kirk in Kansas City, Mo., joined forces Friday to lobby against it.
McGee said religious beliefs should not be codified in Kansas law.
“If businesses rejected sinners, they would have no customers,” McGee said. “They themselves wouldn’t be able to shop in their own businesses. Where does it stop?”
Some form of bill may yet arise in the Kansas Senate. Sen. King has said that while no substitute bill is in the wings, he’ll hold hearings to see if any additional protections are needed. But it is a sign of our eminent equality that Business, Religion, and the GOP Senate aligned to kill this anti-gay bill.
February 14th, 2014
In something out of Kansas called The Rolla Daily News, Jim Brock rants about the proposed pro-discrimination bill. He doesn’t think it’s very Christian:
I guess some members of the Kansas House never read Matthew 25:40-45: “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'”
The holy words of Bible can be so inconvenient, especially when they don’t come from Exodus or Leviticus.
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.
October 25th, 2013
A 20-year-old waiter at a Carrabba’s in Overland Park, Kansas got a lovely note from Christian customers:
Thank you for your service, it was excellent. That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD. Queers do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours. We hope you will see the tip your fag choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly. It is never too late for GOD’S love, but none shall be spared for fags. May GOD have mercy on you.
I had to search around for an unexpurgated version. The source I originally found here decided to eliminate the words queer and fag from its report lest they offend their viewers delicate hears. But this is the kind of thing that demands offense simply because that offense is story, not the fact that yet another waiter in America was stiffed a tip.
Of course, when it comes to Christians or Christianity, not all of them are like that. But throughout history, these kinds of Christians have had a way of defining Christianity down for everyone else. The community is falling behind this waiter, making special trips to Carrabba’s and asking to be seated in his section so they can personally encourage and tip him. KCTV reports that people on social media are encouraging everyone to go to Carrabba’s today to show their support for the waiter. Wouldn’t it be nice of some of them weren’t just NALT Christians, but also “Like Them” Christians who nevertheless can clearly see the un-Christianness of this behavior.
June 28th, 2013
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) saw the DOMA decision as an opportunity, his ride out of obscurity. So he was the first to trot out with an announcement the he, Rep Huelskamp, would be introducing a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Surely this is a proposal that will fire up the base, get him in the spotlight, and soon he’d be cruising the political fast lane in a pink Cadillac with white-wall tires.
But so far it’s been a bit of a bumpy ride. Turns out that not even red state Republicans are ready to climb on board. Not even his fellow Kansans. Not even his own district.
One local state representative didn’t have an opinion because its “a federal matter and he is a state legislator” (oddly, most Republicans in Washington had the opposite opinion). His local GOP Chairman “was in county commission meetings all day yesterday” so he wasn’t following the news.
But the best response had to be this one: (HuffPo)
State Rep. J.R. Claeys (R-Salina) stressed that a gay marriage ban is not a “legislative priority of mine” and said he doesn’t see a chance for Huelskamp’s amendment ever passing. Asked if he believes Huelskamp should have made the proposal, Claeys answered: “I am not sure how to diplomatically sidestep this question.”
So to Huelskamp, I offer this advice: yeah, about that political clunker you have on cinder-blocks in your front yard… you may want to lose that, you’re bringing down property values in the neighborhood.
November 6th, 2012
IN the 1990’s the Kansas State Board of Education became the front line in the battle over the origins of the universe. Control went back and forth between various factions, with each changing the standards to fit their ideology.
But things came to a head in 2005 when the Board held hearings on the teaching of Intelligent Design. Recognizing that the hearings were for show (the ID supporters held a 6-4 majority), the scientific community opted not to participate. At the end of a week of Intelligent Design support, the Board concluded that evolution is “an unproven, often disproven” theory.
It wasn’t a bright shining moment for Kansas and the citizens were not thrilled to be portrayed nationally as nutbag extremists.
In August 2006, six conservatives were replaced by Democrats or moderate Republicans and in 2007 the Board voted to bring Kansas’ education in line with scientific consensus, free of theistic explanations. The Board has been controlled by moderate Republicans and Democrats since, and that is not going to change this year.
But they may well find themselves back in the news as an embarrassment. (NECN)
Jack Wu, a Topeka computer programmer, made opposition to teaching evolution the cornerstone of his campaign as the Republican nominee in the 4th District in northeast Kansas against Democratic incumbent Carolyn Campbell, also from Topeka. Wu described evolution as “Satanic lies” and said on a website that public schools were preparing students to be “liars, crooks, thieves, murderers, and perverts.”
Wu also raised eyebrows by saying that he was lured to Kansas from California in 2008 by Westboro Baptist. The Topeka church, led by the Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., is known internationally for picketing with anti-gay slogans and proclaiming that American soldiers’ deaths are God’s punishment for the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality. Wu is not formally a member, but he’s attended services regularly.
“I consider the people at Westboro Baptist Church good friends so it’s a very friendly and very helpful relationship,” Wu said in an October email, responding to questions about his affiliation. “I learn a lot from them, a lot of truth.”
The Republican Party leadership disavowed Wu, bringing an answer to the question, “Is there anything so wing-nut and anti-gay that even Sam Brownback won’t support it?” Surprisingly, there is.
September 6th, 2011
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.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.