Civil Rights

Ahead of the Kansas legislative session, abortion rights once again under discussion

BY: - December 5, 2022

TOPEKA — Kansas Republicans haven’t discussed new abortion legislation yet, but they do plan to address the subject when the legislative session starts in January. During Monday’s GOP caucus meeting to nominate new House of Representatives leadership, House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins said he hadn’t had any discussions about a potential 15-week abortion ban that […]

OPINION
LGBTQ supporters hold signs Oct. 8, 2019, outside the U.S. Supreme Court in advance of a hearing on whether sexual orientation and gender identity are protected by the 1964 Civil Rights Act. (Allison Stevens/States Newsroom)

Religious freedom and LGBTQ rights clash in schools and on campuses — and courts are deciding

BY: - December 3, 2022

Disputes over religious freedom and LGBTQ rights in the United States have led to some of the most high-profile judicial controversies — and 2022 is no exception. For example, the Supreme Court will hear arguments Dec. 5 about whether a designer can refuse to create wedding websites for same-sex couples; a ruling is likely in late […]

A Christmas village display is set up inside the Pottawatomie Wabaunsee Regional Library. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

‘Troubling and authoritarian’: Kansas ACLU issues warning ahead of St. Marys library vote

BY: - December 2, 2022

TOPEKA — The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas has advised St. Marys city commissioners to renew the imperiled lease of their local public library, saying the officials are violating the Constitution in a “dangerous exercise of power.” The Pottawatomie Wabaunsee Regional Library’s lease is under threat after the library refused to accept a renewal […]

OPINION
constitutionality of the 2022 Legislature's maps recasting district boundaries for congressional and legislative seats. (Thad Allton for Kansas Reflector)

Kansas Supreme Court justice resigns as teacher after KU protests antigay speaker. Bless his heart.

BY: - December 2, 2022

Kansas Supreme Court Justice Caleb Stegall had his feelings hurt. Students and administrators at the University of Kansas questioned whether the campus Federalist Society should have invited an anti-LGBTQ speaker. Despite protests, the talk from Jordan Lorence of the Alliance Defending Freedom went forward as planned. Stegall outlined the situation and his claims in a […]

OPINION

With same-sex marriage vote, U.S. Senate values families. Including mine, here in Kansas.

BY: - November 30, 2022

The U.S. Senate took a momentous step Tuesday, passing a same-sex marriage law that offers a vital backstop for LGBTQ folks in Kansas and the nation. While the Respect for Marriage Act falls short in some ways, it shows how far we’ve come over the past few decades. In 1996, after all, President Bill Clinton […]

Jim Obergefell speaks to members of the media outside the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015

Same-sex marriage protected under bill passed by U.S. Senate with GOP support

BY: - November 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would enshrine protections for same-sex and interracial marriages, codifying many of the rights that would disappear if the U.S. Supreme Court were to overturn those landmark decisions the way it overturned the nationwide right to an abortion this summer. The 61-36 bipartisan vote sends the bill […]

A judge's gavel on top of a pile of $100 bills

Wichita has spent $150,000 on legal fees in defense of police gang list

BY: - November 29, 2022

TOPEKA — The City of Wichita has paid a private law firm more than $150,000 in legal fees to defend itself from litigation over the police department’s use of a gang list. The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Kansas Appleseed filed a class action lawsuit against the city in April 2021, arguing that […]

OPINION
A thanksgiving table with empty chairs

Reflection, celebration and fond memories should mark Thanksgiving season in Kansas

BY: - November 27, 2022

Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Mark McCormick is the former executive director of The Kansas African American Museum and a member of the Kansas African American Affairs Commission. My recent call to […]

St. Marys residents line the walls of city commission meeting room

Alex Gino, author of book that sparked effort to close Kansas town’s library, speaks out

BY: - November 18, 2022

TOPEKA — Alex Gino wanted to write a book that reflected transgender youths’ experiences, the sort of book they wished they’d had when they were young. It took them 12 years to write the book, which went on to receive several literary awards, including a Children’s Choice award and the Lambda literary award. Now, the […]

Demonstrators hold a rainbow flag outside the U.S. Supreme Court

Bill protecting same-sex marriage gains bipartisan support in U.S. Senate

BY: - November 16, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate cleared a key hurdle to passing a marriage equality bill Wednesday, garnering even more than the 60 senators from both political parties needed to move past a legislative filibuster. The bill, which could win final passage in the Senate as soon as this week, would ensure same-sex and interracial couples […]

U.S. Court of Appeals removes hurdle in lawsuit by Kansas man wrongfully convicted of murder

BY: - November 16, 2022

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver rejects claim of immunity by Kansas law enforcement officers facing a lawsuit by a man wrongfully convicted of murder.

St. Marys residents fill a city commission meeting room

Future of Kansas town’s library uncertain after outpouring of support at commission meeting

BY: - November 16, 2022

ST. MARYS — Following public outcry about censorship, the St. Marys City Commission decided to table a vote on renewing the Pottawatomie Wabaunsee Regional Library’s lease. The lease is under threat because the library refused to comply with the commission’s request to remove all LGBTQ, sexual, racial or otherwise “socially divisive” content from its shelves. […]