If the “religious freedom” bill in Arizona were to have been signed into law, it would have allowed the extreme religious right to practice gender profiling. Once again, in order to enforce their Taliban-like rules, they would be permitted to bring to mind all of the stereotypes that have plagued the gay community for thousands of years.
Thus, any mannerism they perceive to fit the profile would allow discrimination.
As an example, as a male elementary school teacher in the early 1960s, I was labeled “queer” by many people (there is today still a dearth of men in the primary grades).
Would this mean that Hobby Lobby, where I bought school supplies, would be able to deny me access because of my occupation?
Shawnee Bias contagion
It appears that the “Westboro Virus” has spread to the Kansas House of Representatives and the Arizona Legislature.
Prairie Village Herbert column
The March 5 Danedri Herbert column in 913, “Gore's visit ushers in record cold snap,” is a good example of a columnist with too many opinions based on too few facts. Linking Al Gore's visit to Kansas City's cold temperatures, she launched into a derisive attack on the idea of climate change.
That officials in Alaska were contemplating delaying or even canceling the Iditarod race because of unusually warm weather escaped her. Maybe an Alaskan newspaper columnist was writing, “See, Al Gore said there was global warming.”
Neither would be correct, based on the weather of that day and location. But the analysis of temperatures for many past decades shows the trend is not a good one.
The columnist may laugh at the idea of climate change. Decades from now, nature most likely will be laughing back.
Leawood Testy political ads
I am appalled by the Sen. Pat Roberts endorsed ad that is running on our local radio. In this commercial, Milton Wolf, (who is running against Sen. Roberts in the GOP primary), is castigated for a Facebook post (2-24, A7, “Senate hopeful apologizes for old Facebook posts”).
It ends up by saying something along the lines of if Wolf posts such things on Facebook, how can we trust him. I would rather say, “If Sen. Roberts has represented Kansas for many years without having maintained a residence here, how can we trust him?”
Lenexa Bad Kansas bill
I see the Kansas House is considering HB 2553, a bill that would allow Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health care funds to go to the state as a block grant. Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger says the governor and Legislature would have control over how the funds were spent, including, possibly, being diverted to cover shortfalls in other state funding.
Now we know how Gov. Sam Brownback and his flunkies plan to finance their poorly conceived tax breaks.
Overland Park Gay rights issues
I am glad the bill in Arizona to protect religious rights was vetoed. However, it does raise several questions.
What are the boundaries of religious rights? Most religious organizations’ stances on homosexuality are not newly founded.
They have held these beliefs for centuries. What are the boundaries of homosexual rights?
I am more concerned about the businesses that applied pressure to Arizona to reject this bill. I am not comfortable with businesses setting moral standards.
I try to keep my thinking about businesses confined to the secular. I expect businesses to make decisions based solely on what is best for the business.
I also read that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community is upset because it may not be allowed to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York, using signs and banners to proclaim their being gay. I would be sympathetic if they weren’t being allowed to march because they are gay.
Instead of just being a St. Patrick’s Day parade, they want to create a LGBT section in the parade. Should we allow a Hispanic, African American or Germanic section of the parade?
All these distractions are diluting the meaning of this special day. When is enough enough?
Overland Park Animal protections
Animal health corridor of the world? Our state of Kansas currently ranks No. 3 for the number of animal breeders with egregious records of repeated violations of animal welfare laws.
Our neighbors in Missouri hold the dubious title of No. 1 on this list. Recent news reporting on this issue called attention to the need to change Kansas laws to require that commercial breeders and shelters be licensed and inspected regularly to meet minimum welfare standards.
Senate Bill 392, which is currently under discussion in Topeka, can strengthen our animal welfare laws to put puppy mills out of business. This bill updates the current Kansas Pet Animal Act, which was put into laws with minimal animal welfare standards in 1989.
However, senators are currently opposing the requirements in SB 292 for breeders to be inspected and obtain a license. Without proper care, many of the animals in the state’s “mills” end up in our shelters and rescues, which we all pay for both directly and indirectly with our tax dollars.
If we are to be the “animal health corridor of the world” shouldn’t we require that our local animals be treated humanely? Please urge your legislators to support the updates to the Kansas Pet Animal Act without diluting SB 392 and our ability to run a humane state.