Skip to main content

For the last few hours, I've been occupied as we discuss with members of the state legislature the impact of Kansas HB-2453.   Though several diaries have been written about this (I put up one yesterday, Hunter had a solid one today) what has been hard to know for a while is how this bill was shaping up in the senate.

Tonight, I want to give you a hands on update, and URGE Kansas residents to take IMMEDIATE action.   I rarely say information is important, but if you know people in Kansas, PLEASE spread the word herein.

Tonight, Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita announce to her peers and press that in it's current form, she doesn't think this bill will pass.

TOPEKA — A controversial bill that critics say would sanction discrimination of gays and lesbians is unlikely to pass the Kansas Senate in its current form, President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, said in a statement Thursday.

House Bill 2453, which supporters say protects religious freedom, passed the House by a vote of 72-49 on Wednesday. Since then, phones at the Capitol have been ringing constantly, with callers urging senators to stop the bill and criticizing representatives for passing the measure. Opponents say the measure legalizes discrimination by government employees.

“After an initial review, I’ve grown concerned about the practical impact of the bill,” Wagle said in an e-mailed statement. The bill would allow public and private employees alike to refuse service based on religious views of marriage.

“A strong majority of my members support laws that define traditional marriage, protect religious institutions, and protect individuals from being forced to violate their personal moral values,” Wagle said. “However, my members also don’t condone discrimination.

Let there be no mistake, the state house is buzzing tonight, absolutely buzzing.  Phones are ringing and representatives who have flown under the radar for years are taking a beating over the phones and in the press.

I have to commend Senate and House Democrats - people who I left a bit for dead yesterday who have turned this into a PR Waterloo for Republicans.   Governor Nominee Paul Davis, as well as Senate Democrats have worked to help encourage their bases as well as supplied aids and resources to get their constituents on the phone calling, writing, emailing their senators to highlight this bill - as just one of many - from an out of control legislation.

That said, we must remember This Bill is NOT NOT NOT dead.  After an early count with Senate Democrats, there is still a thought that as it sits, it would/could still pass - the reason why there is a 'growing concern' as Wagle points out is because they are facing serious pressure from their constituents to not sign onto this bill.

But those who are on the side of justice are not the only ones calling their representatives.   Phone calls into Senate members are full of near threats urging them to 'vote yes' or face loss of contributions, primary challenges, etc.   As one Senate Aid told me today:  "We are Damned if you Do, Damned if you Don't".  

If you are in Kansas, now is the time to ramp up the pressure.   Make your voice heard.   If this bill is sunk in the Kansas Senate, Kansas House members will have to explain another outrageous vote that failed, and Senate members will have to explain to their far right constituents why they wouldn't sign on.

NOW is the time to make your voice heard, to help get people registered to vote, to plan for the fall.

This is a horrific piece of legislation that brings up all the fear and hatred that some of the Republican base has.  And when confronted with the truth of what some members of their party represent, many moderate Republicans are waking up and realizing they cannot be part of this - House Members told me openly that in many more urban districts, their constituents have voiced direct displeasure.

I say:  CRANK IT UP.

Let them feel the pressure of those who send them into office.   Let this piece of legislation be their Waterloo.   Damned if they do, Damned if they don't.   They made this bed.   Let them feel what it's like to have continuous pressure by hopping into it.

If you need help finding your representative, click here:

To anyone who knows anyone in Kansas, PLEASE spread this message.   There are senators who will be there late tonight and all of tomorrow.  A call, a message, an email help drive this home.

7:38 PM PT: These are the members on the committee who are handling this legislation:


Sen. Jeff King[1] Phone: 785-296-7361[2]

Vice Chair

Sen. Greg Smith[3] Phone: 785-296-7367[4]

Ranking Minority Member

Sen. David Haley[5] Phone: 785-296-7376[6]


Sen. Terry Bruce[7] Phone: 785-296-2497[8]

Sen. Forrest Knox[9] Phone: 785-296-7678[10]

Sen. Garrett Love[11] Phone: 785-296-7359[12]

Sen. Julia Lynn[13] Phone: 785-296-7382[14]

Sen. Carolyn McGinn[15] Phone: 785-296-7377[16]

Sen. Mike Petersen[17] Phone: 785-296-7355[18]

Sen. Pat Pettey[19] Phone: 785-296-7375[20]

Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook[21] Phone: 785-296-7362[22]

Originally posted to tmservo433 on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 07:06 PM PST.

Also republished by Kansas & Missouri Kossacks, LGBT Rights are Human Rights, Sex, Body, and Gender, Kossacks for Marriage Equality, Your Government at Work, Sluts, The Rebel Alliance, State & Local ACTION Group, Milk Men And Women, and Angry Gays.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site