Brace for Blowback…

Or was that Brownback? As in retrograde Governor of Kansas?

According to AP,

Brownback rescinded an executive order issued in August 2007 by then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius barring discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The order applied to hiring and employment decisions by agencies under the governor’s direct control and required them to create anti-harassment policies as well.

 Brownback has defended his state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage,  which was recently invalidated by the federal courts. Apparently, this was his “I’ll show you” revenge.

At the same time he rescinded the order, which he criticized as “unilateral” (I think Executive Orders are “unilateral” by definition…) Brownback issued a new order reaffirming the state’s commitment to prohibit discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, gender or religion. In other words, Kansans shouldn’t pick on people unless they’re gay.

“This executive order ensures that state employees enjoy the same civil rights as all Kansans without creating additional ‘protected classes’ as the previous order did,” Brownback said in a brief statement. “Any such expansion of ‘protected classes’ should be done by the Legislature and not through unilateral action.”…

Tom Witt, executive director of Equality Kansas, the state’s leading gay-rights group, said the jobs of hundreds of gay, lesbian and transgendered workers are now at risk, after they’ve spent nearly a decade believing they were safe on the job after disclosing their orientation or gender identity.

Two steps forward (aka same-sex marriage), one step back.

Kansas should be ashamed.


  1. Neither the Constitution or the Amendments are pro or con regarding same-sex marriage or opposite-sex marriage. They do not attempt to control marriage…or specific women’s body parts and/or medical decisions but voting rights ARE supposed to be protected by the Constitution and Amendments. State courts – often backed by SCOTUS – have stuck their two-cents worth into the fray and overstepped their boundaries. One previous commentor used specious comments regarding discrimination can be found in all laws and regulations – possibly only to be argumentive. Discrimination is almost always blantant in content limiting the rights of specific groups but not always a group of people.

    Here is an example of blatant discrimination by members of the medical field and upheld by the state of Indiana for unfathomable reasons. Three urology surgeons refused to perfom bladder reconstructive surgery because I am deaf. Writing notes was too much trouble and too time consuming according to them. My attempts to have “letters of reprimand” placed in their personnel files with the Indiana Board of Medical Licensing was refused because they denied the discrimination. I provided all E-mails between all parties with proof of accepting me initially, knowing I am deaf, denying treatment after days of examinations and tests, telling me I needed the surgery plus an additional surgical need, and billing Medicare and my supplemental health plan. Would they do this to a male; I have no idea. But I do know the Constitution and all Amendments do not protect my bladder – or my ears. The State Medical Licensing Board is supposed to protect both patients and doctors from discrimination and malpractice. I wonder how many others have had discrimination problems ignored by the medical field – not only in Indiana. This was 4 years ago, before ACA lest you want to cast blame.

    How and why government has been allowed to imbed itself into our most personal relationships and matters is beyond my understanding. They are protecting big businesses in many cases…it is as always – follow the money. In this current economic situation, jeopardizing jobs for any reason other than incompetence, can only benefit business profits. And obviously; we aren’t in Kansas anymore with these problems.

  2. According to Wikipedia “In United States Federal anti-discrimination law, a protected class is a characteristic of a person which cannot be targeted for discrimination.[1] ” Apparently in Kansas there is one person, probably more, who think that who one loves is grounds for fewer rights. Sort of like slaves used to be. And blacks. And women.

    I wonder what goes on in heads that believe in such discrimination. Is it like people who were expoised to Ebola coming home with fewer rights so they couldn’t spread their potential disease?

    As was mentioned yesterday candidate groups for discrimination are those for whom current fashion or culture makes more politically valuable as a threat to scare voters into line than as a voting block. That political çalculation probably does vary by state.

  3. We can lament the all the nasty attempts at Voter Suppression, and Religious Reactionaries, to chisel away at Civil Rights and Human rights. The sad fact is these Politicians were elected by the Majority of the people who bothered to vote in these States.

  4. It would be nice if the states and federal government stopping recognizing marriage completely. Anyone who wanted to get married could sign civil contracts as they see fit to cover things like power of attorney, dividing assets after separation, etc., and have any kind of marriage ceremony they liked, religious or otherwise. If the government stopped using taxes as a social engineering tool to encourage marriage and child-bearing the problem would be solved, as there would be no practical need to have the government recognize/approve a particular marriage. There would still be bigoted assholes running rampant, but their jaw flapping would be outside the scope of the law and thus harmless.

  5. No matter what religion you choose to have your marriage ceremony blessed by; you still need the license from the state to legalize it. No longer will jumping the broom be accepted any more than walking a circle around your spouse three times will legalize your divorce (I have forgotten who used that rite). It doesn’t matter what your political party is when you apply for a marriage license or which religion your practice – or if you practice a religion. Why should sex matter to the state…or federal government.

    My friends had to be married in Chicago in the early 1960’s because she was black and he was white. When the law against interracial marriage was repealed here they wanted to be remarried at home with family and friends to celebrate with them. The little old white lady in the marriage license branch informed them she couldn’t issue them a marriage license because they would be committing bigomy. They left laughing…and still legally married.

  6. Witness what is happening in Arkansas also. Koch money fueled a Republican takeover of the General Assembly. The state legislative branch, bristling at the city of Fayetteville’s attempt at a local anti-discrimination ordinance, has passed a state statute banning such local decisions. (The Duggers fought against the Fayetteville ordinance.). The Arkansas statute clearly violates the precedent laid down by the U.S.Supreme Court against a similar attempt by the state of Colorado some years back. Many of us voted in this last election, hoping desperately for a better outcome, but the big money and ignorance have carried the day.

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