Members of a motorcycle club called Journey 4 Justice pled not guilty to picketing a religious event in November. The group maintains a presence outside Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., where its members use a large American flag to hide the church’s offensive anti-gay signs. Read more
Attorneys with Americans United recently warned Kansas Secretary of State Kris W. Kobach to stop using his office to promote Christianity and to cease coercing employees to attend religious services. Read more
Let’s say some people at a company want to get together during lunch hour and hold a Bible study. It’s totally voluntary, and they don’t pressure anyone else to attend. This is not likely to cause any problems.
But let’s say the boss organized the Bible study and attends it regularly. Now we might have a problem if subordinates are coerced to attend overtly or even subtly. (If, for example, those who attend get in good with the boss and are first in line for promotions, raises, etc.) Read more
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback today issued executive order 15-05, which purports to prohibit the state from discriminating against religious organizations that hold “the belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.” What the order really does is sanction government-funded discrimination, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
All families are equal, but some families are more equal than others. That’s the gist of a new proposal by Kansas state senator Forrest Knox (R-Dist. 14) that would create a special class of foster families, called “CARE families.” Read more
A federal judge struck down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban last night, calling it an unconstitutional violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. US District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen began her decision with a lengthy quote from Mildred Loving, the plaintiff in 1967’s Loving v. Virginia, which struck down the state’s Jim Crow-era anti-miscegenation laws.
Last month, an employee of the Kansas Corporation Commission, a state agency, decided to add a reference to the employee newsletter about how much Christmas meant to him because it is the birthday of “the king” – Jesus Christ.
Jared Bowes’ bosses didn’t think this was such a good idea and removed the material. Bowes’ reaction was unusual: He sent an angry e-mail to all of the commission’s employees explaining his religious motivations. Read more
At the Religious Right’s recent Values Voter Summit, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange talked about how far-right attorneys general can undermine progressive policies in the states and promote extreme conservatism.
Strange might want to consult with a guy name Phill Kline before going too far with that.
Kline was Kansas’ attorney general from 2003-2007 and later district attorney in Johnson County. An extreme fundamentalist, he decided to spend much of his time harassing abortion providers. Read more
Members of the school board in Liberal, Kan., missed official prayer at high school football games, so they recently voted unanimously to allow student-led prayers using the school’s loudspeakers.
But there’s a slight hitch in the school board’s plan: The Supreme Court actually banned the practice in 2000.
Kansas schoolchildren will take part in “Celebrate Freedom Week” next month thanks to a recently-passed bill intended, its authors say, to celebrate the signing of the U.S. Constitution. Sounds innocuous enough—who could possibly object to a celebration of the Constitution?