In a stunning move of bigotry, Gov. Sam Brownback made national news Tuesday, embarrassing Kansas when he eliminated rights that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender state workers had had for eight years.
Essentially, it’s now possible to discriminate against, fire or harass state employees because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
But watch what happened next:
In a blunt and dismissive reaction to Brownback’s decision, Kansas City Mayor Sly James late Tuesday night offered a more sympathetic view to gays, lesbians and others.
Taking to Twitter, the mayor very clearly and succinctly stated his view: “LGBT COMMUNITY! You are welcome in Kansas City!”
His tweet immediately gained dozens of sympathetic responses on social media.
This open-arms approach by the mayor of Missouri’s largest city could help it eventually gain jobs at the expense of Kansas, hitting Brownback and his state where it really hurts.
Never forget, James seemed to realize, that people in this metropolitan area have a choice about where they work, live and set up their businesses.
That’s absolutely correct. Why, James was implying, would members of the LGBT community want to pay taxes in Kansas, work in the state or put down roots there when the state’s governor is so disrespectful to them.
As derision poured in around the nation on social media over Brownback’s sudden decision — he could have done it anytime during his first four years in office but waited until he was re-elected to pounce — Kansas appeared to suffer damaging blows to its reputation as a welcoming place for people to work.
Brownback’s dismissive move toward the LGBT community occurred on the same day he did something else that won’t help his cause of trying to make Kansas look like a successful state.
The governor signed into law a bill that shifts funds around and makes budget cuts that are required to make up for the fact that Kansas has lost hundreds of million of dollars in revenue because of his disastrous income tax cuts.
In short, Tuesday was another nightmarish day for many good-hearted people of Kansas.
They don’t deserve a governor acting the way Brownback has in recent months, including his inability to realize the damage that his tax cuts are doing to the state, along with his bigoted views toward the LGBT community.