Archive for Thursday, January 20, 2005

The right move

January 20, 2005

No matter your views on same-sex marriage, the decision this week by leaders in the Kansas House of Representatives is one that should be applauded.

This past Thursday, the fourth day of the 2005 Kansas Legislature, the Kansas Senate debated and approved - without any public hearings - a measure that would amend the state constitution and ban same-sex marriages. The measure passed overwhelmingly and was sent on to the House for consideration.

Initially, House Speaker Doug Mays indicated his preference for moving the legislation quickly through his chamber and bringing it to a floor vote as early as this week. Many are pushing for fast adoption so that the issue can be put before Kansas voters during the April 5 municipal elections.

Mays has since reconsidered the fast-track idea and has referred the legislation to the House Federal and State Affairs Committee for consideration.

"We are going to examine this and exercise due diligence on it," said the committee chairman, Rep. John Edmonds, R-Great Bend. "I'm not going to be railroaded."

Sure, most representatives already have staked out their position on the issue. It was, after all, an issue last session. But a new Legislature is now seated.

Lawmakers owe it to their constituents to carefully examine, through the normal legislative process, all legislation put before them.

The legislative process historically has been a deliberative one. It's worked in Kansas for nearly 150 years and in the United States for more than 200 years.

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