Lawrence activists to celebrate city’s safe haven ordinance with ‘Party Like It’s 9999’

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Activists with No SB 180 in Lawrence, who recently saw the Lawrence City Commission act quickly to pass a local ordinance against Kansas’ anti-trans legislation, are celebrating their successful campaign with a party this week.

Party Like It’s 9999” — after Ordinance No. 9999, which commissioners gave final approval on Tuesday — will feature DJ NovelT.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 10 at Lucia, 1016 Massachusetts St.

The group welcomes people to join in celebrating Lawrence as a safe haven and enjoying the local trans, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming community.

The Kansas Legislature in spring passed Senate Bill 180, which proponents dubbed the “women’s bill of rights” even though it enumerates no rights for women, and which was intended to bar trans people from gender-specific facilities that align with their gender identities.

Local activists, including many affiliated with the group No SB 180 in Lawrence, in June and July urged the city to codify a firm stance against SB 180. On June 20, Vice Mayor Bart Littlejohn asked city staff to work with the activists to bring the safe haven ordinance to fruition. Commissioners gave the draft ordinance initial approval on July 18, and it officially passed on a second read on Aug. 1.

“WHEREAS, as enacted, Senate Bill 180, threatens the health, safety, and welfare, as well as the rights and privileges, of persons located within the City, threatens the City’s trade, commerce, and ability to attract new businesses, is antithetical to the City’s goal of providing a safe, inclusive, and welcoming community for all persons, and menaces the institutions and foundations of a free democratic state,” the ordinance states, before amending city code.

The ordinance continues to say that to the extent allowed by law, city officials, officers, employees, agents or contractors shall not gather or disseminate information about someone’s “biological sex, either male or female, at birth,” as SB 180 states. It says the city will not assist or cooperate in any investigation, detention, arrest, surveillance or gathering of information related to SB 180 as enacted, “by any jurisdiction having authority to enforce it.”

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