Dear Kansas Friends,
People need your help. I’m begging for your help (and I don’t often beg). At the end of this post I will give you some concrete ways that you can help, but first, let me explain:
I awoke from a dream this weekend in which I was crying hot, angry, frustrated tears. In the dream my face was drenched in them and I couldn’t wipe them all away. In the dream I felt completely and utterly defeated because despite my every attempt to advocate for people, many of my own friends didn’t see many of my other friends as people who deserved the same rights and freedoms that they themselves took for granted. I was beyond frustrated that I didn’t know how to help move more people toward action. Then I woke up and I was still heartbroken and frustrated, because it wasn’t just a dream.
Today I have great news, though! News that makes me hopeful! There is a chance for you to show love and take action right now!
Last week, in Topeka, a group of Kansas legislators heard a bill (HB2323) that proposes to amend the current “Kansas act against discrimination” by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protections that already include race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin and ancestry. This is a HUGE deal as it’s the only piece of positive pro-LGBT legislation to even get a hearing in Topeka in years! If this bill passes, it would protect many good, kind, honest, hardworking, creative and brilliant people all across the state of Kansas from getting fired based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It would protect teachers, computer programmers, doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers, baristas, accountants, college students, etcetera, from being refused housing because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
It kind of seems like a no-brainer to support this bill, right? I mean, most of us want people, ALL people, to have the same rights and freedoms that we have, right? Regardless of race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation or gender identity, RIGHT? Well, the Judiciary Committee that is deciding on whether or not to pass this bill out of committee needs to hear from you and that you support this bill!
Yesterday we celebrated a man, Martin Luther King, Jr., who led us toward love through action. So, I’m going to ask you all to take some of his words to heart TODAY and take action.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Please don’t stay silent, friends. Here are some ways you can help:
- Check out Equality Kansas’s (EQKS) Action Alert and Take Action!
Call, write or visit the representatives on the Judiciary Committee members today! (Their contact info is in the Action Alert.)
- Stay posted on the progress of this bill and others affecting LGBT Kansans by following Equality Kansas on FaceBook or through their website.
We will likely see more bills this legislative session that will try to pass laws to ALLOW discrimination of LGBT folks in Kansas. Also, as a straight ally I’m a proud member and supporter of EQKS and invite you to join as well! You’ll receive email updates and your annual dues will go toward helping fight for the rights of LGBT Kansans!
- Unsure how you feel about this topic? That’s OK! I invite you to lean into the possible discomfort you may be feeling and learn a little about real LGBT Kansans. I’m willing to point you to resources, groups or conversations that can meet you where you are in your journey and build from there.