For Immediate Release
July 13, 2021

Majority on Wichita City Council listen to voice of Wichitans; pause sexual orientation & gender identity nondiscrimination ordinance

Wichita, KS – Today in a 5-2 vote the Wichita City Council rejected a hastily passed sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination ordinance, instead pausing the consideration of the proposal for 90 days. Hundreds of Wichitans turned out to oppose the ordinance, yet the Mayor along with one other councilmember tried to ignore their voices opposing the 90-day pause. These ordinances have been used across the country to silence and attack people of faith.

From Brittany Jones, Esq., Director of Policy and Engagement:

“This ordinance would not have created a kind or inclusive Wichita. Instead, it would have been a sword used against anyone who might disagree with the City. Silencing debate and turning the law into a weapon and forcing “re-education” is not how you teach kindness or respect. Disrespecting & sidelining differing views creates more problems than it solves. Our federal government and state have strong nondiscrimination laws.

“However, we do know that these ordinances are being used to systematically attack people of faith for simply living out their beliefs with kindness and compassion. None of the individuals who are currently challenging similar laws in other states had any hostility towards the individuals that are now suing them. In fact, they had served those individuals in the past for ordinary events. However, they should not be forced to create items that go against their sincere beliefs. Nor should they be forced by threat of the law to hide their faith within the four walls of their church. That is the exact opposite of why the Founder’s fought so hard to include religious freedom in our founding documents.

“Further, the narrow religious exemptions in the failed ordinance gave even churches the barest protection only when functioning exclusively for their members. This would severely hamper a church’s ability to function in Wichita. This is not religious freedom. It would have forced many of the pillars of our society to spend time and resources having their ministries investigated by the government to determine if they will comply. Religious freedom exemptions in state law are broader than this ordinance but they are a simple defense and even after years of litigation do not guarantee protection. Clearly, individual rights would not have been protected under the failed ordinance.

“Finally, the City Council wisely said no to relying on an underfunded and overworked municipal system to protect our most sacred freedoms. This is an ill-conceived ordinance and an illegitimate process for defending Wichitans. I thank those Councilmembers who voted to pause the consideration of the ordinance. Now the hard work begins of figuring out a solution to ensure that all Wichitans can live out their beliefs.”

 For media inquiries or to schedule an interview with Brittany Jones, contact Robert Noland at:  719-308-2822 or media@familypolicyalliance.com.

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Dear Friends,

It’s summertime. The legislative session is finished for 2021, and you may wonder what our organization does during the “off season.”

When we aren’t lobbying for your family, faith, and religious liberties, we’re busy preparing for the next year.

This looks like meeting with members of the state legislature, assessing which battles are the most important to prepare for and take on, and building relationships with the people who can help us defend your values and freedoms.

But this summer, we’re also working on something special.

We’re not quite ready to share all the details yet, but we think you’re going to love it!

Watch for an email next week with more information about some exciting updates we’ve been quietly working on.

We can’t wait to share our news with you and hear what you think!

Until then, thanks for your continued support and encouragement in the work we’re doing. It’s our honor and privilege to serve you and your family in Kansas.

Jeff Bennett signature Brittany Jones Signature David Beauchamp Signature
Jeff Bennett
Executive Director
Brittany Jones
Director of Advocacy
David Beauchamp
Church Outreach Director

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I never pass up a chance to quote the Princess Bride. Never has this phrase been more applicable than in the case of the Wichita City Council’s discussion of a sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination ordinance.

On Tuesday July 13th, the Council voted 5-2 to delay discussing the ordinance for 90 days. This will give everyone in the community time to research the implications of this expansive ordinance. It is very important given that it wasn’t even clear which version of the ordinance the City Council was voting on, and several of the council members did not seem to understand the extensive impact of the public accommodation section of the ordinance.

Mayor Brandon Whipple has claimed that no one opposing the ordinance brought real problems with the actual wording of the ordinance. This is an absolute reinterpretation of events. In fact, there were several legitimate concerns expressed. The most repeated one, was how incredibly narrow the religious exemptions are. These exemptions would require a court to examine the inner workings of a church and dictate its behavior; things that courts generally refuse to do but that Mayor Brandon Whipple seems more than happy to do.

Further, as it is written, the ordinance does absolutely nothing to protect a business owner from allegations of discrimination. No matter how kind and reasonable he might be. Under this ordinance, allegations of discrimination could result in large fines, years of litigation, or ‘re-education’ by the City of Wichita.

Throughout the consideration of this ordinance, the mayor has portrayed his motives as pure while at the same time, turning this debate in to a personal matter first by attacking fellow councilmembers for opting to slow down the process on this proposal. Second, by claiming that Family Policy Alliance of Kansas only opposes the ordinance because we are we are using it as a fundraising opportunity. Yet, he has done these things while also using the issue for political gamesmanship, political gain and political fundraising (for his own campaign).

The majority of you reading this email don’t live in Wichita so you may feel like this doesn’t affect you. But it does. Activists have already pushed this through city councils in many of Kansas’ larger cities over the objections of the citizens who live there. They are pushing for similar language at the state level as well. So, if you haven’t seen it in your community – you likely will.

It is very important that we understand what this redefinition and reorientation of our nondiscrimination laws mean for everyday Kansans. If you want to read more, you can reference several articles we wrote several years ago. We can’t allow activist to redefine the terms or be asleep when they try.

It’s time to step up Kansans!

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

Creating the adoption protection act and updating the Kansas adoption and relinquishment act.

Healthcare and information requirements concerning the withholding of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation from minors.

Regulating abortion practice; requiring certain physician information to be provided under the woman’s-right-to-know act.

Recognizing that pornography is a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms.

Creating the adoption protection act and updating the Kansas adoption and relinquishment act.