County where Fred Phelps resides bans antigay discrimination
July 23 2003 12:00 AM ET
In Shawnee County, Kan., home of the Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church and its antigay pastor, Fred Phelps, commissioners on Monday unanimously approved a ban on discrimination in county employment based on sexual orientation. The commission heard more than an hour of testimony from people on both sides of the issue, including accusations from opponents that the ban would create a protected class for gays and lesbians. Commission chairman Vic Miller said he decided to introduce the policy after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out state sodomy laws such as one on the books in Kansas. He said he had been reluctant to introduce the matter while the state had a law making gay sex illegal, even in the privacy of the home. Miller said there was a misunderstanding about the extent of the county resolution, which he said carried much less weight than a similar-sounding measure the Topeka city council debated last year.
There was no official response from Phelps or his followers after approval of the policy. But in a letter to commissioners prior to its passage, Phelps said, "Homosexuals are not a legitimate class either needing or deserving such protection. They define themselves only by their deviant sexual conduct."
- Boston: Major Beer Sponsor Pulls Out of St. Pat's Parade
- Op-ed: The Lasting Impact of Out TV Teens on LGBT Youth
- Op-ed: In Defense of Looking
- These Gay Teen Lovers Are Nothing But Trash
- This Is How Every Parent Should Respond After Their 13-Year-Old Comes Out
- Do New Immigration Detention Guidelines Fail Trans Detainees?
- Women WATCH: Who Wants to See More of The Fosters' Teri Polo in Her Cop Uniform? 41 sec ago
- Uganda U.S. Suspends Health Aid to Uganda Over 'Jail the Gays' Law 17 min 59 sec ago
- Travel Polaroid Museum Opening at Vegas' LINQ 26 min 56 sec ago
- Politics Boston: Major Beer Sponsor Pulls Out of St. Pat's Parade 1 hour 4 min ago
- Women 5 Reasons to Watch (or Re-Watch) Veronica Mars Now That the Movie Is Out! 1 hour 6 min ago
- Theater These Gay Teen Lovers Are Nothing But Trash 1 hour 8 min ago
- Arts & Entertainment Out's Best-Dressed Man of the Week: Matt Bomer 1 hour 20 min ago