Civil Rights

Adam Peters testifies via video on Feb. 1, 2023, before a legislative committee.

Revelations of religious zealotry infiltrating Kansas politics raise alarms near and far

BY: - May 24, 2023

Kansas Reflector’s comprehensive series on religion in public life keeps making waves. Throughout the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen multiple news outlets pick up our reporting for their audiences. Politicians have taken note. Those at the center of the story have pushed back. In all cases, readers can see why compelling, fact-based journalism makes […]

Moms Demand Action on an annual event recognizing victims of firearm violence. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas NRA affiliate skewers local officials aiding anti-violence work of Moms Demand Action

BY: - May 23, 2023

Kansas State Rifle Association, part of the NRA, demands city, county officials refuse to stand against gun violence with activists of Moms Demand Action.

Sarah Gonzales-McLinn appears in court

Kansas board conceals clemency recommendation for woman who killed alleged abuser in 2014

BY: - May 23, 2023

Kansas' review board sent a recommendation to the governor on the clemency application of a woman convicted of killing the man who allegedly abused her.

A new survey of Kansas child-care facilities reveals lingering financial, personnel challenges of COVID-19 pandemic that advocates say pushing system to the brink. (Getty Images)

For an example of inclusive and caring community in Kansas, just look back 60 years

BY: - May 23, 2023

In Sherman Smith’s recent article, “Church and state: Kansas Republicans target ’eminently exploitable’ LGBTQ community,” a nurse from Wiley Elementary School was quoted saying: “At the high school, they’re allowing kids to identify as cats and provided them litter boxes.” This was part of a “serious” conversation about transgender youth during a Republican meeting. The […]

Advocates highlight issues of child care, family leave for women in Kansas and beyond

BY: and - May 22, 2023

The “women’s bill of rights” passed by Kansas legislators bans transgender women from sharing bathrooms, prison facilities, domestic violence centers and other gender-specific spaces with cis women. The law looks nothing like what Wendy Doyle would like to see in a bill of rights for Kansas women. Doyle, president and CEO of United WE, a […]

Church and state: Devotion infuses Kansas Legislature, with spiritual adviser and daily prayers

BY: - May 20, 2023

TOPEKA — Dave DePue, a pastor and director of the Kansas Capitol Commission, smiled in the background as Rep. Emil Bergquist’s voice bounced around the Statehouse rotunda during his baritone rendition of “The Lord’s Prayer.” Bergquist, along with state Treasurer Steven Johnson and Wellington Republican Rep. Bill Rhiley, led prayers during the May 4 prayer […]

Halsey Yankey stands in front of Justin Spiehs at a gender marker clinic held at the Lawrence Public Library May 17,2023, blocking his transphobic sign from view. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Before ban goes into effect, lawyer urges trans Kansans to change gender markers

BY: - May 19, 2023

LAWRENCE — A small group of protesters rattled the door of the library auditorium, trying to get in as an LGBTQ rights lawyer informed transgender Kansans what protections and resources they need to lock down before a wide-ranging transgender bathroom ban goes into effect in July. “We’re trying to do triage care as lawyers right […]

Progeny executive director Marquetta Atkins

Church and state: Kansas Republicans reject systemic racism while fighting critical race theory

BY: - May 19, 2023

WICHITA — When Marquetta Atkins was 7 or 8 years old and the subject of slavery came up at school, she was the only Black child in the classroom. Everyone would turn and look at her as though she were a slave. “If I can be subjected to something like that, why can’t your kids […]

A glass of water next to pills and the box they came in

Three-judge panel in U.S. appeals court hears arguments in abortion pill case

BY: and - May 18, 2023

NEW ORLEANS — A federal appeals court panel quizzed lawyers during oral arguments Wednesday over a Texas judge’s decision that could end access to the abortion pill nationwide. Observers see the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals as a legal way station for the case, in which anti-abortion groups sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, […]

Brandon Woodard

Kansas, Montana lawmakers object to pronounced riptide of LGBTQ+ ‘erasure’ legislation

BY: - May 15, 2023

Lawmakers from Kansas and Montana objected to state legislatures advancing bills designed to undermine rights of LGBTQ+ individuals.

Thousands surrender to Border Patrol as Title 42 ends

BY: - May 11, 2023

EL PASO — Under the shadow of Gate 42, Elizabeth Ramirez repeated “I didn’t want it to be like this,” as she crossed over the Rio Grande, low and sluggish over algae. She was one of a group of two dozen people surrendering to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol on Wednesday. The people crossing would […]

Transgender Kansans and their allies rally May 5, 2023, at the Statehouse in Topeka in protest of the "women's bill of rights."

With anti-trans bill override, 112 Kansas legislators unleashed hatred

BY: - May 11, 2023

Eight-four representatives voted for the law in the Kansas House. Twenty-eight senators voted for the law in the Kansas Senate. These 112 individuals voted to codify the so-called “women’s bill of rights” in the Kansas Legislature. Said another way, these 112 individuals do not see transgender people as real people. These are the 112 that […]