We’ve been here before. Last spring LGBTQ+ activists were pushing Olathe City Councilmembers to pass a sexual orientation and gender identity ordinance (SOGI). This ordinance will be used to undermine religious freedom in Kansas, and your voice is needed to stop it.
The measure is similar to laws in other states that have been used to punish business owners (such as bakers and florists) who decline to participate in same-sex weddings. In some cases, those owners have been forced to close their businesses and have been hit with tens of thousands of dollars in fines. These laws also cover “gender identity” and have been responsible for opening women’s bathrooms, showers, dressing rooms and other public accommodations to men and boys regardless of their biological sex.
These sorts of laws have been destructive in other states. This is not what we want for our state.
The ordinance is known as a SOGI law because of its stated purpose to protect people based on their Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
But what it really does is divide friends and give government the power to pick winners and losers based on their beliefs. Consider two examples:
- Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker who recently won a Supreme Court case, was prosecuted under a SOGI law for declining to create a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding. He gladly sells off-the-shelf products to anyone, but he reserves his artistic, creative talents for things he believes in.
But now, even though he won at the highest court, he is still under order by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to not do ANY weddings (a huge part of his business) because of his faith-based convictions. He has been sued two other times by LGBTQ+ activists for not making cakes based on gender identity based on his belief that God made men and women in His image. These activists are insistent on continuing to try to ruin his life.
- Barronelle Stutzman in Washington State was prosecuted for declining to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding. She was a friend of the openly gay customer and had long served his floral needs. When he asked her to make flower arrangements for his wedding, she hugged him while politely declining – and even referred him to another florist who would do it. She is still in legal proceedings and is at grave risk of losing her home and business from fines and legal costs.
LGBT activists have been pushing similar ordinances around the state, including Prairie Village and Roeland Park. A similar resolution was passed in Overland Park. Olathe is a kind and welcoming place. We don’t need a resolution or an ordinance to tell us to treat each other well.
Please make plans to attend the meeting tomorrow Tuesday, July 16 at 7 p.m. at City Hall. If you can attend it would be best to arrive by 6:30. Encourage your pastor to get involved as well. These are not just “political” issues but have great significance for families, for the ability to live out our Biblical beliefs, and for the fabric of our society as a whole.
We appreciate your respectful engagement on this issue and encourage you to spend earnest time in prayer for your city and its leaders.
Praying for Olathe,
Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy