Friday, February 15, 2019

In Kansas it was Chris Sevier after all

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Zack Ford has an excellent piece on the vile proposed anti-LGBT legislation in Kansas. It makes no sense for me to expand on his good work. Adding some nuance is another matter.

When I heard about Kansas legislative blowhards talking about “parody marriage,” I knew immediately that Chris Sevier had done some convincing. The “marry-my-laptop” disbarred lawyer — “by reason of mental infirmity or illness” seems to be good at selling his anti-LGBT agenda.

Kansas Republicans (at least the craziest among them) were easy targets for Sevier. Newly elected Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly restored employment protections to LGBTQ state employees last month. The nondiscrimination protections were previously eliminated by an executive order signed by former governor, Sam Brownback. Take away the right to discriminate against LGBTQ people and the religious right has a tantrum.

One Republican who was not receptive was Rep. Brenda Dietrich of Topeka. Dietrich said that she declined an opportunity to sponsor the bills. Describing Sevier: “He was very, very aggressive,” said Dietrich, who recalled Sevier’s pitch suggested anyone opposed to the bills couldn’t honestly be a Christian. “One of the most aggressive people I’ve ever had in my office.”

One of the more distasteful imbeciles to sponsor this nonsense (which is most unconstitutional I suspect) is Rep Cheryl Helmer of Mulvane. It turns out that Helmer happens to be an elementary school guidance counselor. Sponsoring the legislation makes Helmer a bigot. She is in a position to impose her bigotry on young children. Helmer is also not very bright. As Ford explains, the measure “asserts that LGBTQ identities constitute a religion, and if the state of Kansas were to support any law that recognizes that religion, it would be in violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.”

I question how lacking in intelligence anyone must be to sponsor such stupidity. According to the bill, “the government’s endorsement of LGBTQ ideology has amounted to the greatest sham since the inception of American jurisprudence. … so-called marriages that do not involve a man and a woman that amount to doctrines that are inseparably linked to the religion of secular humanism.”

For the record, the legislators who were convinced by a crazy disbarred lawyer to denigrate LGBTQ people in service to Christianity are: Owen Donohoe, of Shawnee; David French, of Lansing; Randy Garber of Sabetha, Cheryl Helmer, of Mulvane; Ron Highland, of Wamego; Steve Huebert, of Valley Center; and Bill Rhiley, of Wellington.

Your constituents are in awe of your intellectual prowess. Sevier has an excuse. He's nuts. What explains your collective abandonment of common sense?

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