Kansas Comes To Its Senses: The Internet Saves The Day

palmI’ve noticed lately that there really is power in the internet. When people power together and let their feelings known via petitions or Facebook groups or social media campaigns, people take notice. That seems to be happening in Kansas. (Actually, it’s happened a couple of times in Kansas, but that’s because they keep doing such dumbass crap.)

Last week, the Kansas House of Representatives drafted and passed a bill that ensured discrimination of gay people to provide religious freedom to everyone else. The bill would allow anyone in the state–private or public employee–to refuse service to any gay person if it infringed on their religious beliefs.

Seems to me that someone in Kansas has confused what religion is supposed to be about, but that’s a discussion for another day.

While the bill passed the heavily Republican House, and was expected to easily pass the equally heavily Republican Senate, the idea was quashed when Sen. Susan Wagle, Senate’s president, announced that wouldn’t happen. Many reasons why the bill wouldn’t work have been mentioned.

But a telling quote is this:

As the bill began to pick up steam, it fueled a chorus of growing opposition. The Kansas Chamber of Commerce and the newly formed Kansas Employers for Liberty Coalition released statements saying that the bill posed legal problems for the business community, and that it would strain employer-employee relationships. And a Facebook page titled “Stop Kansas House Bill 2453” has netted more than 50,000 “likes” as of Friday evening.

“Political pages here, if they get 1,000 ‘likes,’ they’re pretty successful,” Thomas Witt, executive director of the Kansas Equality Coalition, told msnbc. “This has exploded in this state. And it blew up in their faces.”

Lessons learned:

  • Sign those petitions.
  • Like those pages.
  • Tweet those tweets.
  • Don’t discriminate against anyone. Ever.

PS Kansas also got busted by the internet for allowing cable lobbyists to write legislation that would limit the expansion of broadband by competitors and in smaller towns. Monopoly, anyone? After the petition garnered many signatures, the piece was dropped with the promise that it would be tweaked. Also, this was a bill that a politician actually said was written by a lobbyist–which seems like a giant no no.


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