Gay rights ordinances passed by Topeka City Council

chad manspeaker

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Two equality ordinances passed the Topeka City Council on a divided vote tonight.

The first proposal to create a domestic partner registry for same sex couples was approved 5 to 3 at tonight’s city council meeting. The other which bans discrimination on the basis of gender identity in the city’s employment and hiring practices also passed 5 to 3. Both were part of councilman Chad Manspeaker’s equality package proposals. Each are targeted at ending discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

The proposals are similar to ones the council rejected in 2011.


TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Topeka City Council approved two ordinances aimed at reducing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, after hearing emotional testimony from both sides of the issue.

The council on Tuesday approved establishing a city domestic partnership registry for same-sex and opposite-sex couples who are not married. It approved a second ordinance that would ban the city from discriminating in employment and hiring based on gender identity. That measure also requires the city to make a good faith effort to provide health coverage for any city employees registered as part of a domestic partnership, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported ( ).

Councilman Chad Manspeaker’s, who sponsored the ordinances, said the approval tells the rest of the world “that Topeka is an open, inclusive community and that we welcome all people here and we look forward to grow in that direction.”

Topeka is the home of Westboro Baptist Church, which has become infamous for its anti-gay protests. It joins Lawrence as the only two cities in Kansas that have domestic partner registries.

Both measures were decided after the council rejected a motion to put the issues up for a public vote.

The council chamber was filled to capacity as several people testified for and against the proposals before the votes. Both issues passed with 5-3 votes.

The city attorney will now determine the costs and procedures for how the registry will work.

Manspeaker said Wednesday that domestic partner registries will provide a legal document for those who register to use to receive benefits for their partners or to show standing to make medical decisions for a partner who is hospitalized. He said the registries are also symbolic in a state that bans same-sex marriage.

“There are grey areas in law when it comes to same-sex relationships, where the partners are or are not recognized,” he said. “We want to provide people who voluntarily declare their love and commitment an official document that declares that ‘this is my partner.'”


Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal,


  • Sheri Moore

    I am disappointed with this emphasis being pushed. This was not a council decision that promotes balance. Marriage and lesbian /transgender lifestyles are different- and not equal. No amount of ordinances passed will make it equal because morality from Creator God affirmed order for humanity world wide and throughout all generations in sexuality. This council vote was a vote for disorder and confusion. Not a healthy governing decision tonight for Topeka. Thank you to the three voting no. Everyone is important; but keep marriage, dear Kansans.

    • Angi

      So, it’s ok for you to interpret the bible how you want to and decide what’s right and wrong? It’s people like you that kept segregation in place for so long. Wake up honey, it’s 2014… not 1920

    • heidi

      You nor anyone else can judge another person…it is shameful that you are..All people are created equal…no exceptions..

  • heidi

    About time…now we just need to legalize gay marriage

  • Angi

    So, it’s ok for you to interpret the bible how you want to and decide what’s right and wrong? It’s people like you that kept segregation in place for so long. Wake up honey, it’s 2014… not 1920

  • Roxann Munoz-florez

    the funny thing about civil rights is that everyone deserves them. Not just religious people. Marriage is not for some a religious event. It is a contract between two people, it’s a state approved institution. So you can make your marriage valid civilly, but you can’t be legally married in religiously held ceremony only. Marriage has been redefined many times throughout the bibles history. And the reason it had been redefined is to keep up with changes of current society. We no longer view women as property to be traded as cattle when a man wants to get married. A man can no longer have 7 wives if he wants. Everyone deserves to marry, the person they love because it is a civil right to get married if you choose to. Plus taxes are paid by the lgbtq community just like everyone else. So why should these particular rights be denied?

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