A Kansas lawmaker is continuing to blast the Supreme Court's 2015 ruling on same-sex marriage eight months later.
Kansas State Rep. Dick Jones (R-Topeka), who is a member of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, claimed that the Supreme Court established a "third sex" when it ruled in favor of marriage equality last year, The Topeka Capital-Journal reports.
“The Supreme Court has, in fact, established a third sex for all intents and purposes. So there’s male and female and gay,” he said. “And they have brought on all of the elements of equality as they probably should have for that.”
Specifying that being gay is strictly “a sexual preference,” he argued that “any desire to live in your Christian ethic” is “practically doomed” unless one accepts that gay and lesbian people represent a third sex.
Jones was speaking at a Feb. 16 "religious freedom" hearing that included testimony from Barronelle Stutzman, a Washington state florist who discriminated against a gay couple in 2013 when she refused to provide flowers for their wedding, The New Civil Rights Movement reports.
Although Stutzman had been invited to address Jones and the rest of the committee, no pro-equality advocates were present, a fact that rankled a number of local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights activists.
“If that child -- and we were talking, just let’s say, move back 70 years -- we’re talking about that child being Jewish and should it be aborted by being ripped out like that, I think we’d have a different conversation here,” he said at the time.
The "religious freedom" hearing was not tied to any specific legislative debate, but local LGBT rights activists still felt diverse viewpoints would have been more effective.
"When they call it an informational briefing, they need to hear from all sides, not just trot out one person to stand there and attack the LGBT community," Tom Witt, who is the director of the gay rights group Equality Kansas, told The Lawrence Journal-World. "Rep. Jones is clearly misinformed, and had this not been a one-sided presentation, we would have found an opportunity to set him straight on his understanding of what sexual orientation actually means."
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