To:  John Ball

 From:  FHHRP Board of Directors

 Re:  April 2015 Voters’ Guide

 1-      Would you support amending the City of Manhattan’s non-discrimination hiring policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity?                                        

 YES       

 Please elaborate on your position:  The city commission does not have any direct authority over city hiring policy.  That authority is vested with the city manager.  I would have no objection to the City Manager, after appropriate review, adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the City non-discrimination policy as well as adding any other special interest group wanting to ensure that they are not discriminated against during city hiring actions.  Of course that is the basic issue…how many special interest groups to we ultimately include in our city hiring policy???  Should we add religious affiliation, University affiliation (i.e. non KSU graduates), political affiliation, etc?  Why not simply establish a hiring policy focused on “best qualified” based on “objective standards” for that position. The only reason to specify a specific special interest group is that there is clear and convincing evidence that there is on-going job discrimination against that group.

 2-      Would you support amending the City of Manhattan’s Civil Rights Ordinance (Ch. 10, Sec. 10-2b) to include sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected class as it relates to housing, employment, and public accommodation?                                    

NO

Please elaborate on your position:   There is a distinct difference between policy and ordinance.  Policy is designed to be aspirational while ordinances are designed to be punitive.  Neither morality nor even immorality can be legislated…just legal and illegal.  All people should be treated with courtesy and respect, but I don’t support the concept of a separated “protected” class in legislation.  I don’t believe in elevating the rights of one group over another enforced by using the coercive power of the state.  This governmental “tool” should be used sparingly and only after there is clear and convincing evidence that there is on-going “discrimination” against that group that is damaging its liberty.  Religious entities and commercial entities have the right to have their beliefs protected just as much as those with different beliefs, as long as there are available choices or options for the various groups.  For example, a utility monopoly provides service to everyone, while other entities are allowed discretion.

 3-      Do you believe it should be illegal for individuals to discriminate in connection with public accommodation (dining, shopping, etc...), employment, and housing by citing personal beliefs such as religion?                                                                                                

NO

 Please elaborate on your position:  This question is very similar to the philosophy expressed in question 2 above so the answer is similar.  All people should be treated with courtesy and respect, but I don’t support the concept of a separated “protected” class in legislation.  Religious entities and commercial entities have the right to have their beliefs protected just as much as those with different beliefs, as long as there are available choices or options for the various groups.  For example, a utility monopoly provides service to everyone, while other entities are allowed discretion.  An ordinance for enforcement and punishment of “illegality” should be used sparingly and only after there is clear and convincing evidence that there is on-going “discrimination” against that group that is damaging its liberty.  For example, if an LGBT landlord only wanted to rent to LGBT tenets, then they should be allowed to exercise their beliefs.  The non-LGBT groups have dozens of other options for rentals, so there in no impact on their liberty.  Even with good intentions, there are always unforeseen second and third order effects with governmental intervention to solve challenges.

 4-      Do you support Governor Brownback’s executive order to strip legal protection to state-employed LGBT citizens?                                                                           

YES              

Please elaborate on your position:  I believe that the basic premise of the question is incorrect.  The Governor rescinded an improper executive order that was put in place by another governor.  There were no “legal protections” removed…they did not exist as the result of the improper executive order.  It would require both the state legislature and governor to enact legislation that would provide legal protection.

 5-      The city commission, as a body, often supports or opposes proposed state legislation or advocates for changes in existing legislation.  Do you support HB 2323, recently amended and reintroduced in the Kansas House of Representatives, which states that sexual orientation and gender identity should become protected classes, such as religious preference or military service, both which are protected classes, in the state’s nondiscrimination policy?      

NO

 Please elaborate on your position:  This question is very similar to the philosophy expressed in question 2 and 3 above, so the answer will be similar.  All people should be treated with courtesy and respect, but I don’t support the concept of a separated “protected” class in legislation.  Neither morality nor even immorality can be legislated…just legal and illegal.  I don’t believe in elevating the rights of one group over another enforced by using the coercive power of the state.  This governmental “tool” should be used sparingly and only after there is clear and convincing evidence that there is on-going “discrimination” against that group that is damaging its liberty.  Religious entities and commercial entities have the right to have their beliefs protected just as much as those with different beliefs, as long as there are available choices or options for the various groups.  For example, a utility monopoly provides service to everyone, while other entities are allowed discretion.

  

 

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