when we introduced to the world Charles Macheers
, who is the Shawnee Republican who cobbled together one of the more regrettable pieces of legislation in a state that's full of them, we figured House Bill 2453 would pass the Senate after coasting through the House.
But maybe not, after all. Senate president Susan Wagle said late Thursday evening that the odious measure to encourage discrimination
against gay couples in Kansas may get a cool reception when it arrives in the Senate.
Perhaps Wagle took full measure of the cascade of biting criticism from Kansans and other folks across the country who saw the Macheers' Religious Liberties Protection Act for what it was. The opposition was vocal and withering against the bill and those who favored it. Macheers' Facebook page was graffitied Thursday with such persistent criticism
that efforts to delete condemnations were eventually abandoned.
While Macheers limply continued trying to defend the notion
that he was just looking out for religious freedoms, a plain reading of his bill made it obvious that such a law would invite flagrant discrimination against gay couples in Kansas.
Or perhaps Wagle understood that gay-marriage prohibitions stand on increasingly wobbly legal stilts in the eyes of federal courts (Virginia's gay marriage ban was struck down yesterday
) and that rushing through poorly conceived legislation may not stem that tide.
Whatever the reason, Wagle doused the momentum of H.B. 2453, saying most of the Senate Republican Caucus wasn't keen on the bill. The few Democrats in the Senate are unlikely to support the measure.
All of which serves to further besmirch House members who voted in favor of the bill earlier this week. They may have not only misjudged their constituents but also miscalculated support in the Senate. Curious at how your local House member voted? Below is the rundown of how Johnson County and Wyandotte County representatives voted on H.B. 2453:
Craig McPherson (R), Overland Park
Keith Esau (R), Olathe
Erin Davis (R), Olathe
Amanda Grosserode (R), Lenexa
Brett Hildabrand (R), Shawnee
John Rubin (R), Shawnee
Kelly Meigs (R), Lenexa
Larry Campbell (R), Olathe
Ray Merrick (R), Stilwell
Jerry Lunn (R), Overland Park
Lance Kinzer (R), Olathe
Willie Dove (R), Bonner Springs
Charles Macheers (R), Shawnee
Bill Sutton (R), Gardner
Marvin Kleeb (R), Overland Park
Scott Schwab (R), Olathe
Ron Ryckman (R), Olathe
Mike Kiegerl (R), Olathe
Stephanie Clayton (R), Overland Park
Barbara Bollier (R), Mission Hills
Nancy Lusk (D), Overland Park
Emily Perry (D), Mission
Melissa Rooker (R), Fairway
James Todd (R), Overland Park
Louis Ruiz (D), Kansas City
Tom Burroughs (D), Kansas City
Valdenia Winn (D), Kansas City
Broderick Henderson (D), Kansas City
Kathy Wolfe Moore (D), Kansas City
Ron Bruchman (R), Overland Park
Mike Peterson (D), Kansas City