Saturday, February 15, 2014


Column: Movie, hate-bill timing divine


I wholeheartedly disagree with atheists. There simply must be a God.

What else but divine intervention could explain the accidental, pluperfect timing of the release of “Jayhawkers,” Kevin Willmott’s film centered on the racial climate in Lawrence when Wilt Chamberlain came to town?

In the most powerful scenes in the black-and-white film, Wilt is refused service at a diner and told he had to sit in the balcony at a movie theater.

The film premiered Friday night in the Lied Center, one day after the House branch of the Kansas Legislature approved bill 2453, which enables citing religious beliefs to deny goods and services to same-sex couples.

The House passed the hate bill two days before Valentine’s Day, a holiday manufactured to celebrate love.

I watched a screening of the film, which airs today at Lied Center at 11 a.m., 7 and 9 p.m. and Sunday (1, 4, 7 p.m.). If you’re the type who likes to nitpick historical inaccuracies, have at it, but you’ll miss the point. The point is that KU Chancellor Franklin Murphy was the right person to occupy a chair of influence when such a popular black figure came to town. Murphy used Wilt’s presence to speed up integration in Lawrence.

Kansas reserve center Justin Wesley does an admirable job of portraying Wilt. I feared that being new to the art, he might over-act. Not so. I also feared there would be an attempt to recreate games, as too often is the case in Hollywood. Instead, Willmott borrowed the “Raging Bull” technique of tight shots and liberal use of slow-motion. Nice touch. All the while, the music of Nathan Davis, Wilt’s college buddy, played, jazzing up the movie. Really nice touch.

I was delighted to meet the real Davis, not the actor who portrayed him, Thursday night at 715, where I dined with my Valentine. Wilt used to play the bongo drums with Davis.

“He wasn’t a pro, but he was good,” said Davis, retired from 43 years as director of music at University of Pittsburgh. “He had good rhythm. He could play with you and not mess you up.”

Davis also said, “We didn’t call him Wilt the Stilt. We called him String Bean because he was so skinny. And he wasn’t 7-feet yet. He was probably about 6-9, 6-91⁄2. He grew when he was here.”

In many ways, Lawrence has grown. Being part of the state of Kansas at a time when some politicians outside of Douglas County seem to have lost their minds and hearts, Lawrence is in danger of shrinking, lest the state Senate kill the hate bill, as it appears now that it will.


Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

Jesse, intolerance does not see color, nor race, nor country of origin, nor sexual preference. Struggles against it in any form find supporters from all others who have tolled under it, comparisons in some form are common. I think the term hater is extreme too, but we should not lose sight that anyone who tries to project their beliefs on another as the only ones worthy to consider are just as guilty of any of the millions of people who have died in the past fighting religious battles from the dawn of civilization to today. This type of behavior is never left unchallenged.
This country was founded under god, not any religion or religious belief of who or what that is. You can even believe there is no god, you are protected to do that. It allows that we all can pursue our own beliefs without persecution.
The movie showcases one aspect of that. Tom's reference to the struggles against similar intolerance in our state just ties together that we have not really come very far. We still have people here that believe their faith which says it must be a man and woman in marriage is the only one that should be followed.
History has shown us that intolerance of freedom like this will always be challenged. Always.

Gregory Newman 8 years, 5 months ago

I didn't have a choice of my race. But folks have a choice of whom they want to have sex with. The struggle for both is of no comparison the degree of hate is much less against Gays than Blacks. The Gays are just ignored. Since our civil liberties have accepted marriage as a privilege. The institution of marriage is not anyone’s idea or personal property to manage as one would deem fit. So therefore, it would be profane to determine what is fair or equitable about a principle that belongs to God to define humanity.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

Intolerance of any element of human endeavor is wrong regardless of any label, faith, or ideal. There is nothing you can do to frame it in any context that allows for it to accepted in any society or faith. Millions have died trying, and still nothing has changed. It is this indifference that stops any progress of acceptance, that will come no matter how many think otherwise. You see movement now with the Catholic faith, with governments as well as a great many people. Gays are not just ignored, they are hated, beaten, and isolated, to a degree of blacks, jews, and religious faiths around the world.
I disagree 100% with your post.

RJ King 8 years, 5 months ago

"Folks have a CHOICE of whom they WANT to have sex with." Really????????

Folks can certainly choose with whom they ACTUALLY DO have sex, and they can certainly choose to LET IT BE KNOWN with whom they PREFER sex.

We want what we want. We are born that way. We can choose what we do with our INNATE DESIRES. Apparently you choose not to consider scientific evidence.

David Nelson 8 years, 5 months ago

I love it when people show their ignorance. People have no more ability to "chose" to be gay than you had to "chose" your race. If you disagree please explain that day when you "decided" you liked girls and were going to be straight. Was it a hard decision? Where you torn? Did you weigh the pro's and con's? Of course not, its in your DNA and hard-wired into a person. Again, the gays were hated and beaten for years - but our society has slowly improved. Don't you remember the game smear the queer for kids in the 80s? You are correct it was nowhere near the persecution blacks went through from slavery to freedom. The stories are so different there is no comparison.
Sadly in our society, we judge and believe what our parents tell us. Until you have a brother, son, grandson that is gay I doubt you will ever accept. And even then, will likely judge them and treat them differently. I feel sorry for you. Blacks are now just starting to reach a level of equality, it will probably be another 20-30 years before gays finally reach that level. It takes a new generation that hasn't been brainwashed by their seniors to have change truly take hold.

Joe Ross 8 years, 5 months ago

For those who think sports and social commentary should never intersect, I ask you to consider Jackie Robinson's breaking the color barrier and other such stories. Sometimes, perhaps more often than we think we know, politics and athletics do convolve themselves. As a matter of personal faith, I take my lead from the Bible. Following your faith in good conscience is NOT the same as hate. However, I would hasten to add several things. First, that I'm troubled at how Christians often cherry-pick issues. If you see homosexuality as a sin, then be equally as revolted by adultery, premarital sex, and the like. Secondly, I detest discrimination in any form. Personal belief is a private matter. Denying access is quite a public one. And finally, I have no doubt that most gays and lesbians have genetic, hormonal predispositions toward their lifestyle. People may argue, "God wouldn't create someone as gay if it were against His commandments to be so." But they fail to remember that there are genetic predispositions to alcoholism, angry temper, and a host of pathologic disorders of the body. The point is that if you believe the Bible, man is fallen and we are all tainted with a nature that now struggles against God's original design, and each one of us bears the marks of that fallen condition in our flesh. Point being, if you are against homosexuality, at the very least you should consider that scientific evidence shows most are born that way (I happen to believe that genetic predispositions do not lock you in to a pattern of behavior, but it is certainly much more difficult to overcome vs. someone who is not predisposed). And for me, Christian charity means NOT discriminating. On the other hand, I wouldn't be too quick to paint everyone opposed to gay rights as full of "hate". Just because someone disagrees with a lifestyle choice does not mean they harbor ill-will towards an individual.

Scott Bonnet 8 years, 5 months ago

Jesse, unless you think we should discriminate against all "sinners" I find your comments hypocritical. Should I be able to deny service to bankers? They charge usury after. What about pork or shellfish eaters? People who don't honor their parents? People that covet? This insistence about focusing on one so-called "sin" is ridiculous. Unless you can show me that you apply this same standard of discrimination across the board, you are a bigot.

Len Shaffer 8 years, 5 months ago

Scott, you said it beautifully. That, in a nutshell, is why the still-rampant homophobia from the Bible-thumpers in this country is patently ridiculous. They conveniently pick certain aspects of the Bible and focus on only those, while completely ignoring other things. (Of course that's even assuming that the Bible is literal, which is another argument.)

And it's also interesting that Jesus himself never once mentioned homosexuality. I wonder how many of these homophobes like to use the initials WWJD. Well it's pretty clear that Jesus didn't have a problem with gay people.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 5 months ago

I'm not gong to expend the time or effort to debate this.

However, I am a big proponent and would like ore information on who these "hard core Tea Party that denied funding for the new althletic dorm." On the surface it sounds a little strange because it is privately funded. Private equity/free markets are a hallmark for most, if not all, Tea Party groups.

Please provide details. I want to look into this.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

Please add me to this list. I think the Tea Party Politics will be viewed, in the not to distant future, as the most misguided, poorly lead initiative organization in the history of the United States. The athletic dorm project is a perfect example of how out of touch they are. Their stated goal is to reduce government and to reel in spending. This project has nothing to do with their views. The only thing it doesn't have is that the Tea Party did not think of and it and could take credit for it. I wish their candle would burn out already so we could get our government back. This is from a Republican!

Steve Gantz 8 years, 5 months ago

Comparing homosexuality to race is such a slap in the face to the millions of African Americans who suffered horribly in this country. I know a few gays have been killed and that is horrible, but discrimination or violence against them is practically non-existent in this country. But the gay lobby wants to be compared to African Americans for their own benefit.

Eliott Reeder 8 years, 5 months ago

You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. Please do some actual reading and research on a topic before spouting off your nonsensical opinions. No discrimination or violence against LGBTQ people in America? Did you even read the article above? How about this one:

Steve Gantz 8 years, 5 months ago

My point still stands, it pales in comparison.

Eliott Reeder 8 years, 5 months ago

Nobody is equating anything here. Keegan makes a correlation between the type of discrimination faced by Wilt in the movie, ie not being allowed to eat in restaurants or sit in the movies with the general population to this bill being passed that would allow businesses to deny service to customers based on perceived sexual preference. Besides which, the "point" you made that I am arguing is your assertion that "discrimination or violence against them is practically non-existent in this country". And that, my friend, is totally untrue and false.

Len Shaffer 8 years, 5 months ago

Steve, thanks for being Exhibit A for the incredible ignorance that so many have about prejudice in this country. You probably also share the belief of many that there's not much bigotry towards African-Americans any more.

While it may be true that gay people were never enslaved and brought over on boats the way Africans were, to say that there's practically no prejudice toward gay people is patently absurd. Consider that in most states, it is still legal to fire someone for being gay or transgender. That alone is evidence that rampant discrimination still exists. And that doesn't even get into all the violence and hate crimes.

Steve, perhaps it would be a good idea to have some clue what you're talking about before posting something, so you can avoid looking like a complete moron.

Steve Gantz 8 years, 5 months ago

I work in the inner city. I live in a neighborhood in which I am a minority. I do have a clue. I see first hand what is still happening to African Americans in this country. Have you seen people in your neighborhood sell their house because there's too many blacks? I have but I have never seen someone sell a house because there's too many gays. I listen to my students tell me about driving while black and the harassment they undergo. I've never heard about a cop harassing someone for driving while gay, have you? I teach history. I know something about what has happened in this country. I work with some of the toughest kids in this country. I've had students victimized by guns and have had students victimize others. I've seen a lot here. I've also had openly gay students who I love and fight for to see that they succeed. I'm also a coach. I drive these kids home to neighborhoods most Americans steer clear of at any time of day let alone at night, even late night.

Your response is so typical. Because I have a viewpoint different than yours I'm intolerant, where in reality you are so intolerant of my beliefs. You make these stupid comments about me without having an inkling of what I do. Come do what I do Len. I won't say you can't because I don't know you. But I wish you knew me before saying these things about me.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

Steve, comparing anything to the intolerance that happened in WWII in Germany does not compare either. Not sure we should be keeping a scorecard here.

It is intolerance, in itself it is unacceptable at any level in any form. Groups of inner city Black children talk to Holocaust survivors in Milwaukee every year, I host those meetings, they are interested in what causes the hatred, not who has suffered the most. Recently they are exploring gays being persecuted too. Trust someone who has sat in those meetings with their parents, they are brothers and sisters with anyone who has suffered any form of intolerance. Even gays. Especially knowing that this happens to white people too. There is no discussion at all on who had it worse. They talk about how to move forward and to live with peace not anger. Discussing them together is the only way they would see it talked about. There is no difference to their parents, nor the children. It is wrong.

Josh Galler 8 years, 5 months ago

I have a cousin who is the Gay Lifestyle and they have twins. They are alike for any other traditional family. They would like the same benefits, it is the American way. They are also very religious in their Jewish faith, and their Synagogue accepts them. Mine would too, and my Synagogue is a conservative religious beliefs, while theirs is reform beliefs. There are many in our two places of worship does not believe in their lifestyle, but we treat them respect, friends with them, goto games with them, goto kids events with them, and so forth, Many may not agree what they do in their private life which that is fine. I do not agree with it, but I do agree they should have the same rights. Some help with technology you may be using, some may playing sports that you love to follow and help that team win a championship. Some may save your lives in the Hostpital or give you CPR to save your life. if you know your nurse that save your life and found out somehow that she is Gay and then you sudden say I want someone else, give me a break, Int he Jewish faith, G-D judge you by Mitzvahs or Good deeds not by lifestyle

Kyle Sybesma 8 years, 5 months ago

Josh - I think you are saying that it's OK to disagree with someone's lifestyle and not hate them as is portrayed by many.

The question is should gays have the same rights as everyone else. Of course. When it comes to marriage I would like to see government out of everyone's marriage. Why are they involved in the first place?

Jeff Schartz 8 years, 5 months ago

I secretly get to discriminate against anyone I want to. That is my right. Nobody on this planet can tell me what to do or think, that is also my God given right. Now, with that being said, I must also suffer the consequences of those beliefs. If I openly hate teenagers because they are wreckless and loud, then I may get beaten up by those same teenagers that I might profess to be angered by. That is called consequential justice. Every action has it's reaction. That is the nature of our world. Political correctness is merely a system of "checks-and-balances", nothing more. So, if people are openly against something, who has the right to tell them they can't be? You? No. Me? Absolutely not. If somebody hates me for no reason, that is their right. BUT, we (you and I), do NOT have the right to commit violence against one another.
Now that I have said that, I just want to say that each and every one of us should look inside our own hearts, and always try to better ourselves, so that we can make the world a wonderful place for future generations. But, hate comes from all sides. And those that profess to others to "tone down" the hate, should act accordingly. The prejudices here are ironic.

Shawn Otrimble 8 years, 5 months ago

Hey, It's Kansas, where we party like it's 1899!!!!!

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

Truly one of the worst columns of the year. The distinction between what the bill attempts to do (did you read it Keegan…?) and the unequal treatment of African Americans is plain to see for anyone willing to think. No one chooses the color of skin they are born with, but having a same-sex wedding IS a choice (notice I did not say having a same-sex attraction is a choice). No business owner should be forced against his religious convictions to participate in any way in any such ceremony he or shed considers immoral. The aim of the bill is not to give carte blanche to refuse service to people because they are gay (in most cases how would one even know?!?!?), but rather to protect business owners who do not want to participate in events which overtly contradict their conscience (primarily same sex weddings). Hopefully language is introduced into the bill as it passes through the Senate to clarify this.

Also, the bill was not introduced in a vacuum- cases in other states have resulted in business owners being fined and threatened with litigation and imprisonment, usually because they are targeted by gay activists. Feel free to google the cases of bakers in Oregon and Colorado, and a bed and breakfast in Vermont.

Keegan is about 50/50 on writing a decent sports column, I don't think I like his odds on social commentary based on this piece (...of hot garbage).

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

Sorry Matt you are wrong. Sound a little Tea Party, way conservative in views like to me. I have difficulty talking to folks like that, no common sense. So I will just leave it as you are wrong.

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

And you sound like a simpleton (who simply assumes that because you feel a certain way it must be right) - something your grammar seems to confirm. I'd be happy to discuss our views at length when you can manage to put a sentence together.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

Do not worry Matt you are not worth my time. Been around to many arrogant self centered folks to know you are hopeless. It's ok your world is getting smaller, I take solace in that. Go ahead and scream, kick your feet, pound your fists, It tends to make your type feel better. Life is too short for people like you to engage. Here I will help you out, you are great Matt! There everyone feels better. Awwww

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

Quite an ironic response considering you followed every one of my posts for an entire day...

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

Just quick acknowledgements, they take no time Matt.

Len Shaffer 8 years, 5 months ago

Matt, it must be a horrible feeling to see the tide of history going against ignoramuses like you. That's okay; just keep spouting your bigotry if that's what you need to give you comfort. Meanwhile, the rest of us will continue along on the path of justice, just like the people who fought for civil rights in the '60s.

BTW, does anyone else find it amusing how often the bigots cry bigotry at those who want to deny them from practicing their bigotry?

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

What I find amusing is the overwhelming hypocrisy of those who advance the gay marriage agenda. The gay lobby has spent the last 40 years fighting oppression (some of which was legitimate and awful) only to now become the oppressors by silencing the speech of others and threatening the livelihoods of business owners who refuse to participate in gay weddings.

Len Shaffer 8 years, 5 months ago

The NERVE of people, threatening the livelihood of bigots, I mean businesses ...

Sam Constance 8 years, 5 months ago

I'm a little late to this party, but if you'll humor me, I'd like to lay out a scenario and ask you a question:

Say I am a Baptist who happens to run a bakery and one of our services is to create wedding cakes. My bakery is in no way affiliated with my faith and the business is called Sam's Bakery. I just happen to be of the Baptist faith.

One day, a Hindu couple enters my business, having seen and liked my cakes at the weddings of their friends. They ask me to make them a cake for their Hindu wedding ceremony.

Is it right for me to say that I will not bake them a cake because they are Hindu and I am a Baptist?

Follow-up question: in whatever job/career you perform--let's say for arguments' sake you are an insurance adjuster--do you actively practice your religious faith in the execution of your job? In other words, does the fact that you believe in God and Jesus Christ have any bearing when you evaluate an insurance claim?

Scott Bonnet 8 years, 5 months ago

Matt, I have a very hard time imagining you graduated Yale. What the bill attempts to do is allow discrimination in public services and accommodations. Bigotry is bigotry no matter its basis.

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

Refusing to sell someone a cake because they are attracted to people of the same sex is bigotry, refusing to make them a wedding cake for their same-sex wedding/commitment ceremony is not. There's a difference. A sign of intelligence is the ability to make meaningful distinctions in complex issues like this one. But please, continue to make personal attacks and general statements that do not address the issue.

Kyle Sybesma 8 years, 5 months ago

Matt - you are correct. I'll even take it further that they don't have to sell to ANYONE they don't want to for any reason. Why? Because we live in a free country. Freedom to do business with who we want and freedom to sell to who we want with no government intervention or assistance. If the reason is bigoted then the public will quit doing business with them and they'll go out of business or be FORCED to change without the FORCE of government. Everyone should be against government FORCE.

Len Shaffer 8 years, 5 months ago

Kyle, if your views were applied in other cases, then restaurants would still be allowed to not serve African-Americans. Discrimination simply cannot be allowed in businesses that serve the general public, if we want to have a society where people have equal opportunities and rights.

Kyle Sybesma 8 years, 5 months ago

Len - With all due respect. Think about what would happen to that restaurant if it did discriminate. Would you go there? I wouldn't spend my money there. They would be FORCED not by government but by the people to go out of business or change their policies.

If we want a society of equal rights shouldn't the restaurant have the right to fail or succeed all on it's own with out the help or hinderance of government?

Why do Americans have such a distrust of government yet look to them to solve their problems?

Doug Merrill 8 years, 5 months ago

Tom, well done! There are some tremendous posters by religious and secular readers here in remarkable agreement about the error of bigotry. There also some very sad opinions that explain why this world's people continue to kill and impoverish others based entirely on the fear borne of tribal mentality. What we can draw from this discussion is the lesson that no matter how wonderful the education offered to all, some remain rooted in fear and phobia. We can take hope from the others and from columns like this - change will happen!

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

Since this is obviously a less than artful thinly veiled jab at me I guess I should respond…

Not wanting business owners to be impelled into supporting same-sex marriage by providing their ceremonies with their services = wanting to impoverish and kill people. Got it, obviously solid logic here.

Kyle Sybesma 8 years, 5 months ago

Doug - How does a government law change "fears and phobias"?

Len Shaffer 8 years, 5 months ago

Given that Lawrence is a very liberal town and that the majority of the country now believes gay marriage should be legal, I doubt seriously that the majority of Keegan's readers are as bigoted as you are, Taylor. In fact, even a lot of Republicans now believe in gay marriage. So you can continue to cling to your belief system from the past century, while the rest of us appreciate Mr. Keegan bringing up a point that is quite valid, given the subject of a movie dealing with bigotry.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

Taylor that is not what the 1st amendment says lol. It says - The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

It does not say anything about refusing service to homosexuals due to your beliefs.

There is nothing actually in any documents in our government about the US being a Christian country. At the time there were as many puritans as there were of any religion actually.

Kyle Sybesma 8 years, 5 months ago

Tom - If you voice your opinion I'll voice mine. This law is in favor of freedom. The U.S. is a place for all to make choices of our own. Good or bad. Those choices should not be legislated based on others opinion of what is right or wrong. We in America get the freedom to be stupid. And that's a good thing.

I live in Colorado. A place we all know we are free to partake in marijuana. I voted for it but I don't participate in it. I'm in favor of freedom of choice. We also had a bakery FORCED to provide a cake to a gay wedding. Government force is a bad thing. A business should be free to operate in any manor they see fit. If you don't like it don't do business with them. If they don't get business because of it they'll go out of business or they'll change. No government necessary.

Just because your religion does not agree with homosexuality does not equate to hatred.

Len Shaffer 8 years, 5 months ago

So Kyle, you don't believe restaurants should be forced to serve African-Americans? Or that teachers should be forced to teach African-American children? Or that bus drivers should be forced to drive Latinos? I could go on and on with these things but you get the idea. If someone has a business that offers goods or services to the public, they should not be allowed to discriminate. Period.

Kyle Sybesma 8 years, 5 months ago

I replied above but I'm saying YES businesses should be allowed to discriminate for any reason they see fit. If you or I don't like it then we shouldn't do business with them. If majority rules then they will go out of business.

I'm not advocating discrimination. I'm advocating the RIGHT to discriminate. As Americans we have the right to make poor choices. At what point do we say government intrusion has gone too far? Always think about government as FORCE. Free people get to choose and a choice is always better no matter how wrong that choice is in our opinion.

Billy Gibbons 8 years, 5 months ago

There are a lot of rural areas in Kansas where there may be only one choice for a particular service. Are you advocating that a same-sex couple in rural Kansas should be FORCED by this bill to go to a different town to see a doctor if the doctor in their town is homophobic?

"Free people get to choose and a choice is always better no matter how wrong that choice is in our opinion." Just wondering, do you also apply this logic to abortion? Not trying to make assumptions about you, I just know that most conservatives think we should get the government out of everything other than a women's uterus.

Kyle Sybesma 8 years, 5 months ago

Billy - Great question about abortion. That's one I honestly struggle with because of my belief in freedom of choice. Before I address that I'll try not to make an assumption about you but most liberals believe in human rights but they are OK with voiding the rights of a fetus. Who protects the rights of that unborn baby? Is it more important that a homosexual couple get a cake than protecting the life of an unborn baby?

I believe it's important to separate our morals and our legal beliefs. We should not look to government to support our morals. My morals say no abortion but I would not want to change the laws. My morals say marijuana is bad and I've never tried but I voted in favor of legalizing it here in CO. My morals say bigotry is wrong by I don't want an anti-discrimination law because I have faith that the people can make the positive changes without government.

So I ask you Billy, most people are dissatisfied with government yet we still look to them to solve our problems. Why?

Billy Gibbons 8 years, 5 months ago

First, I appreciate your level headed response, Kyle. And you're right, I am liberal, and I always put the rights of the living over those of the unborn. To be honest, I put the rights of any living animal over that of an unborn fetus.

This bill legalizes any bias "related to the celebration of, any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement.” The vague language gives anyone the right to deny services as they please. So it's not just a wedding cake, it could easily be applied to medical services, and yes, I think that trumps the protection of an unborn baby.

And I am EXTREMELY dissatisfied with our government (who isn't?) and far too pessimistic to think that it could possibly solve our problems. That's why I quit my job serving uber-rich Californians and am learning to build sustainable housing for the poor. I know the US gov't won't do squat to stop climate change or address income inequality, so I'll do as much as I can myself.

Eric J. Baker 8 years, 5 months ago

Great article, Tom!

For everyone else trying to defend the bill, replace the word "gay" with "black" and if it now seems like what you're saying is racist, then your original comment was homophobic.

It really makes me sad seeing so much hate from people claiming to be fans, or even graduates, of KU. Kansas was once a progressive state, and the name "jayhawk" has long been a symbol of defending the rights of minorities. Although over the last 100 years our state has turned into an entity that promotes discrimination rather than fights it, I always thought Lawrence and the University of Kansas was the region's last bastion of progressive attitude, a place where "Free State" was more than just a title you stick in front of you business's name. It's disgraceful how the University is being represented my many.

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

Your comment proves that you have 1) not read the actual bill, and 2) have not thought very hard about the issue. One cannot choose whether or not to be black, but people certainly can choose whether or not to have a gay wedding. Refusing simple services to people due to ethnicity or sexual orientation is wrong. Refusing to participate in a ceremony that celebrates a lifestyle one disagrees with is a right we all have.

Joe Joseph 8 years, 5 months ago

You're a bigot, a hypocrite, and a bully, Matt. Just because you can write well does not make you otherwise.

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

Typical. Can't win an argument? Resort to name-calling.

Len Shaffer 8 years, 5 months ago

Matt, I'll be glad to deal with the so-called "substance" of your post.

If you agree that gay people have the right to get married (as every other person does), then you cannot say that a business has a right to choose not to cater to that wedding. If a business is catered towards weddings, they are not allowed to discriminate against certain types of people getting married. It's a question of equal rights, plain and simple.

I fail to see what exactly is so complicated about some people having the same right to a service as other people, without being discriminated against.

There, I've dealt with the "substance" of your argument; you can now go ahead and continue to spew your bigotry.

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

Finally, progress...

1) Yes, gay people have the right to get married. Gay men have the right to marry women and gay women have the right to marry men, just like everyone else in the country. We all have equal rights in this regard, it's the same rules for everybody - nothing could be more fair.

2) In a LEGAL sense any business owner should have the right to deny services to any enterprise he or she wants, except in cases where life is threatened (don't think this includes wedding cakes and photography). No one has the right to impel someone else to perform a service if they don't want to.

3) While I think it is imMORAL to refuse services to people for arbitrary reasons (those circumstances that cannot be changed by the buyer), such as race, or even sexual orientation, having a same-sex wedding is anything but arbitrary. It's a conscious choice taken by the people in the relationship. This of course says nothing about whether morality and legality should be perfectly overlapping categories. It would do everyone well to remember that the bill proposed in the House would be lex negativa- it doesn't force anyone to do anything, but rather gives people the freedom from doing something if they don't want to without the threat of legal reprisal.

Joe Joseph 8 years, 5 months ago

I forgot to include "troll" to my list.

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

If you want to grow up and deal with the substance of my post we can have a civil discussion…I'll wait.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

Joe he went to Yale, so of course he thinks he is better than everyone else. It's ok he is far from better than anyone else.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

Typical Matt, wrong, self absorbed, and well just off topic.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

Pot calling the kettle back Matt, reread your own posts. Wrong again Matt!

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

Old enough to know when something being said is disrespectful. I was in Lawrence when the Hawks won in 1988, so not a child like you assume.

I have no problem, and no fear of your rebuttals when I see you being disrespectful repeatedly. As you can see in this column, I am not alone in viewing your responses this way.

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

That' really too bad...I was hoping, for your sake, that you either 12 or 80.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

Look Matt if you do not want me to continue to refute you stop being disrespectful to posters. As it sits, it looks like you are the one acting childish, boorish and may I say unworthy of someone who believes they are intelligent. If I saw this behavior in a bar, in an arena, or on a playground I would be doing the same thing. Stopping it.
I know that you do not really care about that, but it needs to be said you will not go unchecked here.
Its too bad more people did not do that when you were growing up, maybe we would not have to deal with it now.

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

"Refute" me? Bwahahaha! You haven't said one thing of substance in this entire thread. Instead, you have gone around following every one of my posts saying 'you're wrong,' without giving any reason why, like a 6 yr.-old on a playground. I guess you thought I was just going to take your word for it even though you haven't provided any semblance of a coherent logical process on the actual issue? Try harder pal…much harder. Start by looking up "refutation" in the dictionary.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

Don't fret Matt I will be with you the whole time as we get you back to the human race. It is sad, but this happens from time to time. You have lost your way. Classic denial Matt, you think you are sitting on top of some hill throwing down your view of the world thinking we should worship every word you say. Reality is no one really cares and this makes you frustrated and upset, to the point you have lost your grasp of civility. You call people names, you are disrespectful, and continually put people down in a effort to somehow give your comments relevance. It does not work it only makes you look petty and small. I will try to help you Matt. By the way since early on you referenced the dictionary so often I make sure to look up every big word for you to make sure I am using it in the right context. I am. So try another tact. What is truly amazing is the depth of your denial. Must have taken years to get you to this point of doltishness. I do not need to try harder to deal with you. You are in fact quite easy to deal with, I would not say like a child, but well I am sure you can fill in the blank. My logic in my comments have been confirmed by others in this column with their agreement and their common sense approach. So Matt it comes down to this… What are you going to say next? ps- we are not pals, that would never happen.

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

Admits to using a dictionary in order to understand my posts, then calls ME stupid…EL OH EL.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

lol interesting reply Matt. See I do not assume I know everything and with you, well you just can't help yourself. I never called you stupid, you are projecting Matt. Intelligent people realize that they do not know everything, that learning something new happens everyday. They keep their minds open and accept that they will be surprised with something they never thought of. It appears you have lost this capability. You can only react, for the most part with anger, name calling or immature reactions. Its disturbing Matt. Everyone gets a say, in a respectful environment without being bullied by some faceless poster. You are just not a nice person right now. I am not alone in thinking that. You might not care, but I will not let it go unchecked. I use a dictionary like most people do to make sure I am correct in my word usage not to understand your simple posts. You again misread my post above, and that was the only thing you commented on. You just cannot help yourself. Please grow up Matt and act like a responsible adult.

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

That's rich- the guy who has spent 3 days lobbing personal insults is now calling for civility. I still can't quite figure out whether you actually believe the nonsense you are posting or whether I have fallen prey to some epic troll. If the latter, well-played.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

Matt, Matt, Matt, poor guy. You miss the point once again. It is astounding how closed minded you are. Really something, this is at a level rarely seen. I will make it simple for you. STOP being a bully on this site.

PS what I am doing is reflecting, which as you can see agitates you. There is a reason for that if you think about it.

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

Haha, different tone in this message since you got called out on being uncivil, eh? Typical leftist: preach the 1st Amendment until someone disagrees with you then shout them down without any facts.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

wow I was wrong you are beyond hope. Matt I think you might actually have something seriously wrong with you. I really mean this get help! I am sorry I sparred with you, it is obvious common sense and reason are beyond you. Please accept my apologies for ever talking to you. I did not understand you actually cannot not be reasoned with and that you cannot FOLLOW a thought in a sentence. From now on when I see you act like a fool I will just let it pass and say a prayer for you. At this point it is all anyone can do for you. That make you feel better? lol what a pile you are "pal" I will always stand up to people like you. ALWAYS, Matt. So settle down, get your mesh hat, sit in your lazy boy I got all the time in the world to talk to you Yale boy!

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

How do you know you're a moron? Answer: when you accuse someone else of failing to reason well in a self-contradictory post. See:

"From now on when I see you act like a fool I will just let it pass and say a prayer for you."

2 sentences later:

"I got all the time in the world to talk to you Yale boy!"

I guess if "standing up" to me, in your mind, means spewing an incoherent stream of consciousness filled with mindless drivel, then you go girl! I sure hope your actual sentiments are reflected in the second statement- I look forward to your response, but be sure to look up all the words in my post...

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

Hi Matt, good to see I am keeping your attention, what a fool you are. This is like leading a cat around with a laser light. God are you predictable. I digress, I should ask you first, where you want to go next...? LOL Feel in control buddy, guess what you are not? Doesn't my wandering sound so, well derived, it should? Think about it if you can, It was Matty. Heck I even alluded to it but you missed it, again. Its called Psychology, look it up if it sounds unfamiliar. If you would stop being such a brow beating bully it would come to you. Yes there was purpose in my responses. You probably just cannot see it. Which is why you call me a moron and could not understand how my responses that lack consistency showed how incapable I am. Trust me if you can. It was by design. Reflection, empathy, perception, attention, emotion, we went down all of these paths. Wake up, I was trying to connect on some human level. So far Matt its impossible LOL. So what do you want try next Matt? Anger? Motiviation? Something else? This is fun. (by the way empathy from a male to some individuals, sounds like how a female would act or respond. So thank you for confirming that my empathy approach sounded real).

ps- for the third time buddy, like I have posted above, I look up words for myself, I have no issue with the dribble of words you are spilling. Get it straight, although this might be beyond your comprehension. MERCY I have to reset my thoughts about the depths of the human race due to you...

I go away if you stop being a BULLY Matt, it is that easy... Otherwise bring it!

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

Sure, you were acting like an idiot on purpose, not acting like an idiot because, well…you're an idiot.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

Oh Matt so much Intellect and that's all you got? Pathetic. I bet in person you are a weak scared little man. You are a sad excuse for a person, an example of someone who only knows one way to talk to anyone, to push yourself on to them to prove you are better. A lonely friendless man, who lives with his frustrations as comrades. I leave you to wallow in your own empty world.

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

No you won't, you will keep following me around and prattling on about how civil you wish I was while lobbing personal insults. I'm living rent-free in your head. The truth of the matter is that you say one thing then do the opposite - it's probably the same for you in real life. You're an old fool who no one listens to, and a complete fraud.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

Hi Matt, how is it in you cold lonely world? If I see you disrespecting anyone on here I will respond to you. Again so wrong on so many levels with your assessment of who I am. Keep trying, you might get close one day.

I am glad you are reusing some of my words it means my comments have resonated with you, there is hope! This is progress.

You see lobbing personal insults, which I only did at the end, was the only thing that got through to you. Sad in a way when you think about it.

Take care.

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

Ironic. The biggest troll on this board is the self-appointed courtesy monitor. It's a big responsibility being the avenger of an internet sports message board as a 50 year old man…one you no doubt perform in your pajamas from a recliner in your parents' basement. Fight on!

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

I post on here all the time, with all types of comments positive and negative. My comments that got you upset were directed just at you not the board. So not a troll by definition...:) wrong again, maybe you should look up words before you use them Matt. Just a man standing up to people who think they are still in High School and can push people around, so wrong about being some super hero lol. Wrong again, don't wear or even own pajamas, don't have a basement, and my mom lives 10 hours away and she does not have a basement. So every point you tried to make you missed again. Amazing. Grow up Matt and be more respectful of people.

John Pritchett 8 years, 5 months ago

If a doctor is morally opposed to abortion, should he or she be compelled to provide that service to a patient? It's the exact same situation. It has nothing to do with discrimination, it has to do with right of conscience. And discrimination against religious belief is just as bad as discrimination against race or sex. We have enjoyed a complete freedom to act according to our personally formed conscience, and now people like Rodney and others on this site are quick to trample that right, mostly, it would seem, out of a desire to feel superior for having been "on the right side of history". Just be careful not to trample the rights of some in an effort to protect the rights of others. It is always a balancing act in a society. It doesn't make me an evil person for believing that religious freedom and rights of conscience are at least as important as a person's consumer rights.

A significant difference between the discrimination of the civil rights era and the "discrimination" by some business owners against homosexual couples is the fact that serving food to a black person was not against anyone's moral beliefs. Is it too much to ask for a homosexual couple to go to another place of business to get what they need, rather than force a person to act against his or her conscience? What purpose is there in forcing a person to do your will against his or her conscience accept to punish that person for his or her beliefs?

This has nothing to do with whether or not you or I personally agree with these beliefs. They are religious beliefs and they aught to be protected. If we evolve into a country where such is not the case, even if we do evolve into a country where homosexuality is openly accepted, we have a net loss. We can achieve both the protection of religious belief and personal rights to choose one's own lifestyle. That should be our goal.

Oh, and btw, heck of a game by the boys today! RCJH!

  • Phogdog

Len Shaffer 8 years, 5 months ago

"A significant difference between the discrimination of the civil rights era and the "discrimination" by some business owners against homosexual couples is the fact that serving food to a black person was not against anyone's moral beliefs."

You ARE kidding, right???????????????? Have you actually READ what people had to say in those days, or SEEN interviews with them??? Of COURSE it was against their moral beliefs!!! In fact they used Christianity to support those beliefs -- sound familiar?

You say they should have to choose another business; what if there's only one photographer in town, or one caterer in town? Or what if one photographer is much better than another? No one should have to get lesser service simply because they're gay. Like it or not, even religious bigots will eventually have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

RJ King 8 years, 5 months ago

I agree with you Len. But I would be a little anxious eating a cake that had been prepared by someone who despised my lifestyle. I'd be reluctant to trust that the focus would be sharp on my pictures, and nervous that a venue might be "accidentally" double booked. Sadly until ignorance and intolerance disappears this is kind of a no-win situation. But I do think that sometimes legislation can change attitudes over time - women's right to vote, etc.

Eric Mitchell 8 years, 5 months ago

Priests/pastors/rabbis/ etc. have the right to deny same sex couples if they are following their religious beliefs. Likewise, same-sex couples have the right to marry in some form (government- separation of church and state). As a catholic, I believe my priest has the right to respectfully deny marriage. A homosexual can go to church and receive all but two sacraments. If a couple can legally marry in some capacity than that's a good compromise.

Billy Gibbons 8 years, 5 months ago

Clearly the only thing we can all agree on is that the Jayhawks are the greatest basketball team of all time. I am a progressive alumni now living in Colorado and couldn't have been more ashamed of my home state when I started getting "what's wrong with Kansas" messages on Wednesday. Fortunately, in my opinion, I was not alone. Regardless of your opinion of homosexuality, I encourage all of you to not only "read the bill" as Matt Glassman keeps requesting, but if you are a not a lawyer, read a lawyers interpretation of the bill. Fortunately, it is written so poorly that even the majority of Kansas Senate recognizes it as a tool for discrimination. The language is so vague that it prevents more than just a photographer or a baker from participating in a same-sex wedding, but allows critical needs like ambulance service and hospital admittance to be denied to anyone who's marriage does not reflect their definition. This could easily be expanded beyond same-sex couples, to interracial couples, arranged marriages, even used to discriminate against working mothers!

Hopefully future news of Kansas will stay in the sports section, because politically we're always the laughing stock of the country. The more we read, the more we learn!

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

"The language is so vague that it prevents more than just a photographer or a baker from participating in a same-sex wedding, but allows critical needs like ambulance service and hospital admittance to be denied..."

Yes, this is why I said "but rather to protect business owners who do not want to participate in events which overtly contradict their conscience (primarily same sex weddings). Hopefully language is introduced into the bill as it passes through the Senate to clarify this" above.

Billy Gibbons 8 years, 5 months ago

Sorry, Matt, you kept asking us to "read the bill", and I didn't catch that you don't actually agree with the bill as it was written. So we agree that the bill passed by the House allows for discrimination?

Matt Glassman 8 years, 5 months ago

I don't believe that was its intention but the language of the bill as it stands could be susceptible to interpretations unforeseen by the lawmakers.

Danny Hernandez 8 years, 5 months ago

IF you serve the public as a business, THEN you serve all of the public. IF you want to be a private club, then you can serve whom you want.

Titus Canby 8 years, 5 months ago

Several issues here:

  1. What ever happened to unbiased journalism? "Hate bill?" Tom, I'm disappointed to see that you've joined the rest of lemmings who are boiling this bill down to something it's not.

  2. Let's do our research. Read the bill. It doesn't say that a business like McDonalds' can refuse to sell a hamburger to someone. It's written very narrowly, and applies solely to privately owned professional services such as photographers, bakeries, and inns being able to refuse to provide those professional services to gay marriages without being sued. Please, let's get our facts straight.

  3. The Tea Party is not a religious or anti-gay organization. On the contrary. It's been criticized by these organizations for not being on their side.

  4. My opinion? I seriously believe that if people did their research instead of believing and spouting hate-mongering rhetoric - on both sides of many issues such as this - this world would be a better place.

Steve Gantz 8 years, 5 months ago

Good Titus, way to call out Keegan on his bias!

Billy Gibbons 8 years, 5 months ago

  1. "Column"s are rarely without bias. I believe they always contain opinion, but I was not a journalism student, maybe I'm wrong.

  2. I've done my research. I've read almost everything written about this bill and the bill itself, even talked to a few lawyer friends about what they could manipulate this bill to "mean". The language is actually extremely vague and fails to define "related to", "celebration" or even "marriage" (it actually says "or similar arrangement")! This is precisely the reason that a majority of the 32 republican Kansas Senators will not support this bill.

  3. You are correct, the Tea Party is only a collection of pawns used to do the bidding of the Koch Brothers.

4.Couldn't agree with you more, Titus, I've got a whole list of links that I'd be happy to provide, or you can find them all on google.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 5 months ago

Billy is right with his post Titus. Especially about a column being an opinion on something, thus the writer is giving his views, not reporting on the subject. The bill was written in a way so that the judges could interrupt what was and was not discrimination. It will not matter the bill is so poorly constructed it will not pass. The Tea Party is probably the single most political organization in the Untied States that is hindering all government movement from state to the Federal level. I agree with point 4 100%. What we are missing today is a news organization that actually reports just the news and the facts, without the news organizations opinion.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 5 months ago

"What we are missing today is a news organization that actually reports just the news and the facts, without the news organizations opinion."

We will never be able to separate news from opinion. Because somewhere in between news and opinion is a HUGE gap labeled interpretation. Law (and mostly everything else) is written in a language that interpretation will always be required. Any person with any one set of beliefs will interpret things differently than any person with a different set of beliefs. So, what should we do? All just listen to Lennon's song "Imagine" and then create a world where everyone thinks the same, believes the same, speaks the same, acts the same, emotes the same, expresses the same, interprets the same?

I'm a Christian, a republican, and a lot of things that a lot of people don't care for. But I'm all for equality, be it religious, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, gender orientation, or whatever. Hey just because I don't believe that something Biblically right doesn't mean that those people don't have rights. The best example that I can follow is the example of Jesus Christ. He discriminate between the righteous and the thieves, prostitutes, adulterers, and the tax collectors. Even though the common righteous man of the time would have called the first three groups "sinners" and called the tax collectors something even worse.

That said, the plain truth is that we are all endowed by our Creator with rights, and any private service provider or private business owner should have the right to refuse service to any one for any reason. And any one should have the right to utilize any public service they so desire without discrimination.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 5 months ago

I'll allow the lawyers and politicos to define what is a private service and what is a public service, but to me it seems like common sense...

Mike Ford 8 years, 5 months ago

Since I saw this movie today and I grew up in Louisiana in the 1970's with ex relatives in Mississippi who were cut from the "Segregation now and forever" cloth I feel empirically qualified to speak about injustices committed on the basis of race and gender. I watched Jayhawkers today surrounded by a primarily White audience. It's says something when people have to go to see a movie because they didn't know this went on in Lawrence. It's like when White people went up to Indians in the audience at "Dances With Wolves" and asked Native people in the audience, "Did That Really happen?". Ironically a couple of years ago Mr. Wilmott made a movie, "The Good Indian" about the horrors of abuse and cultural genocide at places like Haskell a century ago. Had White people learned and listened from that movie maybe they'd understand why the South Lawrence Trafficway is so offensive to Native peoples. Your culture put Indian children in military schools to drill the Indian out of them and made them build those levees under duress and now it's okay to slander their suffering and build a road through it. So American. To this movie, federal law, and the LGBT discrimination issue. It took federal laws like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to make states behave and respect all people... not just White people. The 14th Amendment provides equal protection and access under the law. The 14th Amendment applies to anyone not allowed access or protection under the law. When I hears states rights mentioned I hear racism. I told that genius Tea Party candidate Terry Lois Gregory this at a debate a couple of years ago. The 14th Amendment is knee capping state gay marriage bans as we speak. Furthermore Gay people were in the Nazi Concentration Camps with the Jewish and Romani (Gypsy) during World War II. I grit my teeth when I hear uninformed people speak of freedoms being denied by government....which government? I wouldn't be publically proud my ignorance. I would change my ways if someone publically chided me for being publically intolerant of minorities.

Billy Gibbons 8 years, 5 months ago

What the hell? For the first time ever, Missouri stands up on the right side of history while Kansas backslides a few decades onto the wrong side.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 5 months ago

Come on LJW! This article would have had 400 comments by now if not for the new Facebook link policy. Heck, commenting probably would have had to be disabled days ago!

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