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Kansas

Topeka city council to consider proposal on anti-LGBT discrimination

Friday, September 13, 2013

TOPEKA, Kan. — The city council in Topeka, Kan., has scheduled a vote on an anti-discrimination proposal that would amend responsibility of the city’s Human Relations Commission to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

Council member Chad Manspeaker, who proposed the ordinance, said the measure was previously approved by the city’s Human Relations Commission in June in a 7-0 vote, but must now be adopted by the city council.

Topeka-KS-sealThe measure would expand the role of the Commission, which focuses on educating the public to aid in preventing discrimination in the areas of race, religion, creed, color, sex, disability, national origin or age.

Manspeaker told LGBTQ Nation that expanding the Commission’s charter is a necessary first step in efforts to establishing legal protections for the Tokepa’s LGBT residents.

“It’s baby steps towards ensuring that gay and lesbian and transgender folk are not discriminated against,” he said. “We want people to live freely in our community and we can’t do that without these protections.”

Manspeaker said Topeka “has a national reputation for being the home of groups who spread a message of hate,” referring to the Westboro Baptist Church, home of anti-gay extremists and the “Gods Hate Fags” fundamentalist movement, which is located in his district.

“This ordinance will do nothing to limit that speech. It will not affect businesses or religious practices,” he said. “It will however acknowledge that people are being ostracized, denied work, and receiving threats of violence, and even death for simply being who they are.”

Kansas state law currently prohibits same-sex couples from marrying and adopting children together.

Currently, Lawrence is the only city to have an anti-discrimination ordinance that includes sexual orientation and gender identity. The cities of Salina and Hutchinson had similar anti-discrimination ordinances, however, both were repealed in 2012.

The Topeka city council will vote on Manspeaker’s proposal on Sept. 17.

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9 more reader comments:

  1. Oh goodness, maybe this means the Westboro baptist church will leave?

    Posted on Friday, September 13, 2013 at 7:07pm
  2. We can only hope!!

    Replied on Friday, September 13, 2013 at 8:28pm
  3. Why would they?

    Replied on Friday, September 13, 2013 at 9:58pm
  4. Knowing them they won't stop running their mouths and claim more BS that obviously just comes from what little brain cells they have left.

    Replied on Friday, September 13, 2013 at 10:40pm
  5. They did that before and it failed. I was at that public forum.

    Posted on Friday, September 13, 2013 at 10:30pm
  6. I’m suprised they can decide on toliet paper let alone basic human rights.

    Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 4:27am
  7. Good luck.

    Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 5:29am
  8. I want to move there then move away just so I can say “toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore”

    Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 12:01pm
  9. Someone started a page entitled “homofascists out of control.”

    Now aside from the clear disregard for history and how every actual fascists regime has rejected, often violently, homosexuality, which, ironically, would make the creator of this sight more closely related to fascism than any good gay boy or girl, what did we ever do to you?

    Can someone please tell me what gay people, as a whole, have done to hurt you? I’m serious about this.

    Let’s for one second, accept as accurate all the faulty religious arguments. Wouldn’t that be a crime against God, and not you?
    Don’t answer that, that second is over and in already regret wasting it.

    My point is what justifies being so openly, brazenly and adamantly hateful against a group of people who’ve done nothing to you.

    The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. When the level of discourse at that level becomes acceptable then the discussees should buy stock in ice because they’re going to the same Hell they think I’m condemned to. But I won’t be there.

    Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 12:14pm