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

July 13

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