Last edited: February 06, 2005

Letter: Toward Equality

Topeka Capital-Journal, July 9, 2003
616 SE Jefferson Street, Topeka, KS 66607
Fax: 785-295-1230

In response to the recent Supreme Court’s ruling on Lawrence v. Texas, striking down anti-sodomy laws in Kansas and 12 other states, we celebrate! This ruling is another step toward realizing equality and justice for all Americans.

Kansas’s discriminatory same-sex sodomy law has been used for years by lawmakers and others to deny civil rights to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The argument, while flawed, stated that you could not grant protections for criminals. By decriminalizing same-sex consensual sexual activities and stating that people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender deserve to be treated with respect, the Supreme Court has removed one of the largest obstacles that was used to deny fair treatment and equal rights of gay people. We applaud this long overdue and just decision.

While this is a watershed issue that has a tremendous impact upon the gay and lesbian community it still does not address the need for change in Topeka’s Human Relations Ordinance. Still in Topeka, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people can lose their jobs, be forced from homes or be excluded from public accommodations based upon their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.

The Equal Justice Coalition is working hard to bring equality and justice for all citizens of Topeka by going door-to-door to educate registered voters and to encourage them to urge their city council members to vote in support of fairness for all citizens. We ask registered voters to sign letters of support that are sent to the city council representatives requesting their support for the inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens in the Human Relations Ordinance.

We are pleased with the incredible response we have been receiving from the citizens of Topeka and wish to thank them. Topeka citizens have shown that they, like the Supreme Court ruling, are fair-minded. Their support for equal treatment for all citizens of Topeka has truly been amazing.

While today we celebrate, tomorrow we must seek even more change. We are thankful to those on the council who have had the vision and courage to stand up for equal justice and we urge the rest to join us as we embrace a better city and a better country, a place where everyone can be treated with respect.

—Tiffany Muller, Chair, Equal Justice Coalition Topeka

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