The daughter of one of the Republican lawmakers sponsoring anti-gay marriage legislation in Kansas publicly shamed her father this week, condemning his “cruel actions.”
The Wichita Eagle reports that Rep. Ron Highland’s daughter, Christel Highland, shared an open letter to him on Facebook denouncing her father for sponsoring House Bill 2320, which calls same-sex marriage “parody marriages.”
Christel Highland, who describes herself as a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community in Kansas City, wrote in her letter, “One thing you said to me that struck me to my core at a very young age, which has lasted with me until this day is, ‘Think before you speak.’ I would respectfully ask that you think deeply prior to sponsoring any legislation. Legislation which reeks of utter disrespect toward anyone, actively striving to make the lives of others more difficult is beneath you.”
She adds: “I love you, I always will, in spite of your flaws. I cannot, however, condone your cruel actions. Shame on you.”
Christel Highland also requested an apology from her father on behalf of her family and friends and wrote, “I beg that you show yourself to be the honorable man I’ve always known you to be.”
Rep. Highland has now apologized, reports the newspaper.
“The bill that I should not have signed on to cosponsor contained some hateful language which I do not condone, and it is against our Lord’s command to love our neighbors,” Highland said in a written statement published by The Manhattan Mercury.
Highland said he has asked for his name to be removed from the bill and said sponsoring it was a mistake and offers an apology.
Christel Highland praised her father for apologizing.
“It took strength to do what my Father did, and I’m proud of him for setting an excellent example to his colleagues and constituents by removing his co-sponsorship from HB 2320,” she said. “I think this situation is an example of what is possible if we work together toward good with love in our hearts. I can only hope that this is a step in a positive direction where we work to make the pursuit of happiness easier for one another irrespective of birthplace, race, beliefs, or orientation.”
Christel Highland said she had decided to go public with the letter to her father because she had friends in Kansas “reeling from yet another attempt to legislate hate.”
“I wrote that letter from a place of exhaustion as a result of our divisive political climate,” she said.
The Wichita Eagle notes: “Highland is a sponsor on all six bills, which aim to reduce porn consumption, tax strip club attendance, elevate heterosexual marriage, and limit censorship on religious online speech.”