Lewis W. Diuguid

21st-century political civil war picks up new steam on gays, guns and God battle lines

Updated: 2014-02-16T00:06:47Z

By Lewis W. Diuguid

The Kansas City Star

States rights issues are running up against federal law in a number of areas. Politically it’s a 21st-century civil war.

Unlike the 1800s, Kansas and Missouri this time are securely in the ranks of the rebels on guns, gays and God. Federal gun laws are hardly liberal enough for them, and same sex marriage laws go too far.

However, federal courts keep broadening the gay marriage issue. Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states now that a federal judge has struck down part of a state prohibition.

Missouri, Kansas and other states with same sex marriage bans could be affected. Meanwhile, some Republican legislators in Missouri are trying to impeach Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon over his decision last year to do the right thing by allowing same sex couples legally married in other states to file joint tax returns in Missouri.

Not to be outdone on the rebel front of laughable ridiculousness, Kansas is bringing God into the fray with legislation passed by the House in Topeka that would prohibit government sanctions or discrimination lawsuits over faith-based refusals of individuals or businesses to recognize same-sex marriages or to provide services, products, accommodations or employment benefits to couples. It makes states-rights sense considering that Topeka and Kansas are the home of the Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps and his national band of anti-gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender protesters.

The Kansas bill if it becomes law would seem to turn back the clock 50 years on civil rights legislation. The Civil Rights Act, after all, was passed in 1964. However, sexual orientation is not a protected class — even though it should be.

If the nullification, states rights, anti-everything LGBT, tea party, conservative push continues, President Barack Obama may just get the Democratic majority in the House and Senate that he wants after the November election. Then sexual orientation could become a protected class along with Attorney General Eric Holder wanting to restore voting rights to former prison inmates in states where it’s lost for life after a conviction.

If all that happens, then the federal conflict with the rebel red states will truly be on.

To reach Lewis W. Diuguid, call 816-234-4723 or send email to ldiuguid@kcstar.com.

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