Civil Rights

Title IX audit of Kansas college shows pressure to forgive abusers, reconcile

BY: - May 8, 2023

HESSTON — An audit of a small Mennonite college in rural Kansas has found systemic failings, with sexual abuse reporters pressured to meet their abusers face-to-face and “forgive and forget” the abuse. In November 2022, Hesston College commissioned international law firm Cozen O’Connor to review legal compliance and make recommendations about the college’s policies, procedures […]

‘This is not the end’: Protesters return to Kansas Statehouse in wake of transgender bathroom ban

BY: - May 5, 2023

TOPEKA — Rainbow flags, babies in tie-dye and a three-legged dog wearing a trans flag bandana: these are the new symbols of defiance in the battle for LGBTQ rights in Kansas. Transgender protesters once again showed up to make their voices heard at the Statehouse, blasting stories and encouragement to one another through a shaky […]

Kansas lawmakers ask for Godly influences during Statehouse prayer ceremony

BY: - May 4, 2023

TOPEKA — Bowing his head in prayer, Rep. Bill Rhiley asked God to sway journalists into Christian reporting during a Thursday prayer ceremony. He was one of several Statehouse Republicans who attended the ceremony to pray for more Godly influence in society at large.  “On this National Day of Prayer, grant that the people of […]


Kansas deserves a Legislature that champions family values and inclusivity

BY: - May 4, 2023

I recently attended the Veto Session Conversation hosted by the Voter Rights Network of Wyandotte County and the Mainstream Coalition, where Gov. Laura Kelly’s recent vetoes of several disturbing bills were discussed. These bills targeted vulnerable Kansans, particularly the LGBTQ community, and neglected pressing issues affecting all Kansans. Panelist Tori Gleason debunked myths about transgender people, […]

Kansas voters, including people using this Lawrence polling station, cast ballots Tuesday in races for U.S. House and U.S. Senate. For the first time, Lawrence residents are part of the 1st District stretching to the Colorado border. The shift devised by the GOP-led Legislature was to dilute influence of left-leaning Lawrence in congressional contests. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas voting rights campaign to combat election fraud conspiracies, promote voter turnout

BY: - May 2, 2023

TOPEKA — Several Kansas voting rights groups have pulled together, starting a campaign in reaction to GOP-backed election fraud theories and voting restrictions.  During the legislative session, several Republican lawmakers pushed for voting restrictions under the false pretense of widespread election fraud. Proposals included a drop-box ban and increased restrictions for mail-in ballots.  Senate Bill […]

The administration of Gov. Laura Kelly said an inquiry had been launched into allegations of a state employee and "concerned taxpayer" about potential misuse of aircraft by the Kansas Highway Patrol's aviation unit. The allegations center on pilots obtaining flight credentials of little use to the KHP and of using a helicopter for trips to Kansas City restaurants. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

KHP’s ‘two-step’ technique for launching vehicle searches challenged on constitutional grounds

BY: - May 2, 2023

U.S. District Court is hearing lawsuit challenging constitutionality of Kansas Highway Patrol's technique for compelling vehicle searches for illegal drugs.

Kansas House lawmakers display LGBTQ flags on their desks during a vote April 5, 2023, to override the governor's veto and impose a transgender sports ban on public schools

Legislature targeted trans children at the expense of fixing real problems for young Kansans

BY: - May 2, 2023

In its 2023 session, the Kansas Legislature developed a set of priorities in the name of helping children, apparently without regard for what the children of Kansas need. Lawmakers myopically and dangerously focused on transgender children, with the likely potential for truly unimaginable consequences. When considering these priorities, we should ask ourselves why this was […]

White Kansas lawmaker denies racism in House: ‘This body is more compassionate and loving’

BY: - May 1, 2023

TOPEKA — Debate over a police bill last week turned into a discussion of Statehouse racism, with a white lawmaker asserting the House was too “loving and compassionate” to pass racist policy. A Black lawmaker disagreed. The conversation stemmed from debate about Senate Bill 174, which the House passed 113-9 and the Senate passed 31-7. […]

A top GOP lawyer wants to crack down on the college vote. States already are.

BY: - April 30, 2023

A top Republican election lawyer recently caused a stir when she told GOP donors that the party should work to make it harder for college students to vote in key states. But the comments from Cleta Mitchell, who worked closely with then-President Donald Trump to try to overturn the 2020 election, are perhaps less surprising […]

Flashing lights on a police car

Kansas City shooting suggests double standard for arrest between Black and white people

BY: - April 30, 2023

Sitting in a top-floor newsroom years ago, a colleague called me from the lobby to warn me that police planned to arrest me. They were on their way up the elevator. “Arrest me?” I asked, horrified about the prospect of a humiliating perp-walk through the newsroom in front of my supervisors and peers. “Arrest me […]

Rep. John Eplee, an Atchison Republican and family physician, said the Legislature's passage of a bill restricting authority of state and local public health officials was a misguided response to government actions during the COVID-19 pandemic

Legislature narrowly approves bill stripping authority from state, local public health officials

BY: - April 29, 2023

Kansas Legislature presented Gov. Laura Kelly with a bill restricting authority of state and local public health officials responding to health emergencies.

Muslim advocacy group asks Kansas senator for equal representation after offer to convert

BY: - April 28, 2023

TOPEKA — A Muslim advocacy group on Friday asked Sen. Mark Steffen to commit to fair representation of all constituents following news reports of a conversation in which Steffen offered to convert a Muslim woman. Steffen’s comment came during a meeting with a group of young Kansans from Wichita and Hutchinson in his office on […]