On February 16th Planting Peace hosted a protest in front of the Kansas capital building to fight HB2453, or “The Religious Liberties” bill. This particular piece of legislation drew national attention because if passed, the measure would have allowed any individual, business, or state employee to deny gay couples everything from wedding services to unemployment benefits, to a whole host of other rights and responsibilities as long as the reason for doing so involves a “strong religious objection” to homosexuality. Although this bill was allegedly drafted in the name of supporting the right to maintain core religious conviction it seemed a hard argument to make given the blatant and reprehensible language of discrimination it harbored towards members of Kansas’ LGBT community.
Because this bill was clearly connected to the separate but equal notion of the 1960s we thought we would respond both civilly and creatively by hosting an artistic form of resistance to the bill and in connection to our countries most historically notable form of social justice. We sent out a Facebook invitation and next thing we knew we were standing amongst 300+ other Kansans working together to produce an image all too familiar in our countries struggle for equal rights. We were able to produce a photographic depiction of segregation and in turn gave a visual representation of what it means to tell a minority group of people that they are “less than” because something about their identity is different than the majority.
We again just wanted to thank everyone who was able to show up to the event and are pressing on with us in the fight for equality & fairness for ALL!