There is so much to be done in Kansas. We are still reeling from the years of Brownback’s failed experiment in our state. Why then, would  some members of our House of Representatives choose to spend time and energy on bills bringing back discrimination, this time on the basis of sexual orientation?

Two bills introduced in the Kansas House of Representatives delegitimize gay marriage, calling it “parody marriage” and elevating heterosexual marriage to a higher level.

The Supreme Court has ruled on this issue. It was the right thing to do. Why is this being rehashed in Kansas? In addition to being a waste of time and the people’s money, it is ugly and hateful. 

In an interview, the author of the bill, Rep. Randy Garber, R-Sabetha, admits that he got “kind of harsh” in the language of the bill. In the same interview, he says he is not a bigot, is a Christian and loves people.  Garber admits that same-sex marriage does not “affect” him,  so why the vitriol?

One of the sponsors of these bills is a local representative. I think better of the 40th District. And I expect better of anyone representing the district. 

The last election showed that voters, even in Kansas, support inclusion and openness. Kansas elected the first openly gay legislators in the last election. 

The passage of either of these bills is doubtful, however. Spending time on further division and presenting a document that includes insults to the LGBTQ members of our community encourages discrimination and hate in our state.

We need to call on our better, more tolerant and more mature selves to elevate our state beyond this and spend our energy on legislation to deal with current issues like education funding, state economy and other issues that need to be addressed. We need to let our legislators know that we are tired of the ugly, divisive rhetoric and want to unite our state and country.

Jane Gies is a Leavenworth Times columnist.