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Sunday`s meeting in Emporia was the first for the Coalition`s board of directors. The meeting kicked off the campaign to form chapters around the state.
The idea for the new group was sparked by the campaign against the state constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage and prohibited any form of legal rights for same-sex couples. That amendment was approved by the voters on April 5.
“The amendment passed, but the campaign made us stronger,“ Witt said. “For the first time, we were able to build a statewide network of moderate Kansans to fight for equitable laws.“
Many organizations helped create the new group, including Equality Kansas, Kansas Democratic LGBT Caucus, Kansans for Justice and Equality, Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays, the Kansas League of Women Voters, Equal Justice Coalition, Flint Hills Human Rights Project, Log Cabin Republicans, the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice and Mainstream Coalition.
Kansans For Fairness, the group formed to oppose the amendment, was officially disbanded after the amendment campaign ended. Many of the people who worked with Kansans For Fairness helped create the new group.
The new Coalition is a non-profit, non-partisan group composed of local chapters and governed by a statewide board of directors. Each chapter appoints members to represent it on the central board. The board also includes three at-large members.
Equality Kansas, a Wichita-based group; the Equal Justice Coalition, Topeka; and the Flint Hills Human Rights Project, Manhattan will form the basis of the South Central Kansas, Topeka and Flint Hills chapters. Other chapters are being formed in Lawrence and the Kansas City metropolitan area. Chapters are also expected to form in other cities around the state.
Listed below is information about each chapter and its organizing meeting.
SOUTH CENTRAL KANSAS
Nov. 29, 7 p.m.
First Unitarian Universalist Church, 1501 Fairmount, Wichita
Thomas Witt (316) 683-1706
To Be Announced
Location To Be Announced
Nov. 22, 7 p.m.
First Congregational Church, Manhattan
Nov. 6 , 2:30 p.m.
Lawrence Public Library Auditorium, 707 Vermont St.
Diane Silver (785) 766-2187
Oct. 24, 2005