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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Kansas might as well start producing “Only Heterosexuals Served Here” signs for businesses and government offices.

A bill that sailed through the state’s House of Representatives tells Kansans: You can be as discriminatory as you like against homosexuals and the state will have your back. Just be sure and do it in God’s name!

The bill is meeting pushback in the Kansas Senate, but don’t be fooled. This is denial and fear on steroids. It’s happening across the country. And it won’t be the last we’ll hear of such legislative efforts.

The legislation is aimed at civil unions. It’s a pre-emptive strike to ensure that people “with sincerely held religious beliefs” against homosexuality will be able to turn gay couples away if they request flowers for a wedding, a banquet hall for a reception or wish to hire a photographer for their civil ceremony. Also covered are those involved with adoption, foster care, counseling or social services, including government employees. Like a city clerk who might want to cite his Bible to avoid legally recognizing a gay marriage declared valid elsewhere.

The politicians who support this nonsense have no clue what discrimination looks like, feels like or how it has historically has functioned in society. The constant cry rationalizing this bill and similar measures elsewhere is that it is religious conservatives — not homosexuals — who are apt to suffer from discrimination.

Really? I’m doubtful that any has entered a public business to be told that their money is no good there — because they’re a Christian. Nor have they suffered the added humiliation of being slurred as they are shown the door. So the idea of ensuring such denial of public accommodation as a legally protected “right,” something no aggrieved person could ever sue for, feels just dandy to them. Justified, even.

What’s really happening — what’s threatening the religious conservatives of Kansas — is that the general public’s views on homosexuality are shifting. Rapidly.

People under the age of 25 shrugged at the hoopla surrounding All-American lineman Michael Sam’s public announcement that he is gay before the NFL draft. Seventeen states have legalized same-sex marriage so couples can gain the tax benefits, insurance, medical protections and legal responsibilities that straight people have long held. And federal courts have overturned bans against same-sex marriages in Utah and Oklahoma.

So religious conservatives now take up the mantle of a minority. That’s one of the few honest things about this conversation. Their view of homosexuality will soon be (if it is not already) a minority opinion.

Yet they miss crucial points. No government authority — neither the courts nor the executive branch — is telling people that they can’t continue to decry homosexuality. They can quote the Bible to condemn it all they want. Preachers can preach that God has naught but fiery damnation in store for LGBT people. Churches can continue to bar gay couples from marriage and any other sacrament.

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80 responses to “Seriously, What Is Wrong With Kansas?”

  1. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh says:

    What else do you expect from the only state to have just about its entire secondary education system decertified by just about every certification board.

  2. gmccpa says:

    “The constant cry rationalizing this bill and similar measures elsewhere is that it is religious conservatives — not homosexuals — who are apt to suffer from discrimination.”

    This is becoming a common theme..basically “I’m being discriminated against, because I’m not allowed to discriminate against you”. I literally had a male, white, Christian, friend tell me that it is now ‘his’ kind that suffer the most discrimination. I asked him to name one specific event in his entire life that was affected by this so called discrimination. He could not answer and just looked at me blankly.

    And regarding the gay issue….NONE of them get it. In a few years, all of this will be a non issue. (in the US, anyway, cant say the same for Uganda). It will be like womens right to vote, civil rights, interracial marriage, etc. These very people will eventually find that they are largely unaffected by granting equal rights to gay people….even if (gasp) they do bake a cake for a gay wedding. Almost no one under 30 has any objection to gay people or their lifestyle…so its just a matter of time. These haters should just get the hell out of the way and let people live the life they chose. It’s amazingly simple…yet their hate and fear make it so complicated.

  3. Buford2k11 says:

    “What is wrong with Kansas?”…the gop/baggers are in power…

  4. JD says:

    Well Toto, It looks like we aren’t in Kansas anymore… Thank God.

  5. itsfun says:

    People should be able to live any lifestyle they want. That lifestyle should not be pushed onto others. If people don’t want me someplace I don’t go there. Why would I want to be where no one wants me. If a baker won’t make a cake for me, I go to another baker. Doesn’t the baker have the right to decide what he/she wants to do in their private business?

    • johninPCFL says:

      Sure, but these laws go way beyond that. If you work for a baker and he doesn’t like the color of your skin, he can’t fire you for that reason. This law explicitly enshrines the notion that you can be fired, whether your company has a written policy to the effect or not, for appearing to be homosexual. All that is required is that your boss be convinced “of your guilt”, as it were. An you do NOT collect unemployment compensation (imagine how that plays out in any corporate downsizing) or any other termination benefits (like accrued vacation pay, sick leave, etc.) In effect, if the boss wants you gone, he has a ready excuse and you have absolutely no recourse, except using your savings to hire an attorney and suing. Oh, that’s right, the law forbids that.

      • itsfun says:

        Just saying a small business person should be able to decide who or what he/she serves. If you don’t like the business policy, don’t go there and spend your money. There are always others places to go.

        • johninPCFL says:

          That’s the classical “states’ rights” argument: the federal government doesn’t have the right to do anything that isn’t specifically enumerated, frilly language like “life, liberty, pusuit of happiness” be damned. So, people from California can be married (or buy donuts) but that relationship (or the legality of the dough) may not be valid in Georgia.

          • itsfun says:

            Just seems to me, that if people don’t like the policies of a business and don’t go there, the business will fail and close the doors. On the other hand if people like the policies, they will go there and spend their money. Just let the market place make the decisions.

          • Sand_Cat says:

            Yeah: law of the jungle caricatured to fit the demands of THE MARKET, may its divine name be praised. If the drug companies kill enough people, they’ll eventually lose their customers and go out of business; same with food manufacturers. They clearly don’t need regulation, either, since THE MARKET – may its eminence be ever acknowledged – will regulate them. Oh, and if you don’t want to be murdered, just go where there aren’t any murderers. Sooner or later, they’ll run out of victims and will have to stop. Or maybe people will hire people to kill them. Either way, THE MARKET will take care of it.
            Most of us don’t buy your religion – pursued with the same fanaticism, irrationality, and immunity to facts as any other, only with no pretense of compassion, selflessness, or generosity – and need to be protected from persecution more than the bigots need protection to abuse and harm others for irrational reasons.

          • johninPCFL says:

            Sure. That way, 100 years after slaves were freed they still have their own drinking fountains.

          • itsfun says:

            Wasn’t the problem with the cake baker a religious one? How can one have freedom of religion and be forced by law to disobey that religion? I was not talking about basic human rights.

          • Sand_Cat says:

            Businesses don’t have religions; people do. The baker as a person has a perfect right to hate gay people, or black people, or anyone else for any reason whatsoever, and to act on that hate excepting violence and other lawbreaking, so you don’t need to worry about his “liberty.” I may not wash my hands before fixing my dinner, but if I run a restaurant, there are laws I have to obey about that and a lot of other things. I love how you wing nuts blather about this when someone wants to run his business with the bigotry you support, but make haste to point out the differences of businesses from persons when it suits your argument of the moment.
            I should have thought you bright enough to not need this explained to you, but I guess not.

          • itsfun says:

            Businesses have owners that are religious. If the owner is a very religious person, he/she will feel obligated to obey their religion either in their business or at home. Things get kinda dicey here, because some consider the government telling a business to disobey their religion a violation of the Constitution. Others believe not serving a person because of their religious beliefs is being a bigot. I would have thought you were bright enough to see both sides of this. I guess not.

          • Sand_Cat says:

            Yes, there are always two sides. On the one, we have the deeply religious saint who couldn’t possibly stretch the smallest commandment when he/she doesn’t want to, but sees nothing wrong with abusing people who have done nothing to him/her on the basis of a book written by barbarians thousands of years ago which is full of prohibitions and commands he/she ignores completely every day in all aspects of life, not to mention throwing out all of his/her “savior’s” instructions without a second thought when it comes to all other aspects of running a business. And of course, he likely votes for people who make up facts and preach hatred and fear and divide people on just such issues as these.
            Those who think it’s a violation of the Constitution for the government to tell people they can’t practice aspects of their religion that hurt others deserve to run into followers of those religions which believe in human sacrifice.

          • itsfun says:

            Yep, that is one side. You are taking a big leap though to lump every religious person into that category. Thats like saying every progressive is a socialist or communist.

          • Sand_Cat says:

            No, it’s you who makes the leap (remember? it’s fun!). You’re the one lumping every religious person. Many religious people are not bigots; even those who disapprove of Homosexuals and other “sinners” need not abuse them.
            Face it: once again you defend the indefensible. But then I guess you do that so often you don’t even notice anymore, assuming you ever did.

          • itsfun says:

            I am not lumping anyone with anything. Just saying some small business people are torn between their religious beliefs and what the laws or politically correct people say. My example was a baker not baking a cake for a gay wedding because his religious beliefs are against gay marriage. What is this person to do? He can either follow his religious beliefs or get sued or fined. I am saying the government may be violating his right of freedom of religion. This is a area where it gets dicey. I am not defending anything or anyone here.

          • Sand_Cat says:

            It should not be necessary to point out that people who take such
            “religious” stands – the people who conceived and voted for this
            travesty are excellent examples – are rarely willing to concede to
            adherents of other religions or non-believers the same wide-ranging religious freedom
            they demand for themselves as their right, even in matters affecting no one else.
            And people whose “religious” beliefs condemn others rarely content themselves with declining service, politely or otherwise.
            My point that you chose to ignore is that the book of Leviticus, which contains the passage on which anti-gay discrimination is supposedly based, is full of rather barbaric and archaic instructions and statements which such “deeply religious” people rarely if ever honor because they involve personal inconvenience rather than opportunities to condemn others and enlarge their own egos thereby.
            One who runs a business does not have the freedom in his business dealings guaranteed for individuals. I understand that this can be a difficult area, and – believe it or not – I’m not terribly comfortable with government intrusion in religious matters, but no one has the right to harm other law-abiding citizens and hide behind “religious freedom,” first amendment or not.

          • johninPCFL says:

            Completely bogus red herring. What part of NOT FIRING an employee violates any religious imperative? “Fire the black man” is the same as “fire the gay man”. Both are morally bankrupt.

        • Allan Richardson says:

          That was what Lester Maddox was saying in the 1960s, beginning with his own business. The problem was that, since hatred of black people was so pervasive, not only among business owners but among their white customer base, any white business owner who CHOSE not to discriminate would be put out of business by his white customers going over to his competitors before he could build up enough of a black customer base to make up for it. The only way to avoid punishing a business owner who made the morally RIGHT choice not to discriminate is to require his COMPETITORS to adopt the same policy.

      • daniel bostdorf says:

        Senate has killed the bill…today……

    • Sand_Cat says:

      Actually, no. The baker is a public accommodation. Public accomodations are subject to law. And it’s easy for you to talk about how it wouldn’t bother you, since you know it will never happen. Maybe we should pass a law saying businesses have the right to discriminate against right-wing lunatic trolls and see how you like that.

      • itsfun says:

        You are such a sweet talker. Maybe a law should be passed to put all name callers in the slammer for 30 days.

        If you don’t like the policy of a business, don’t go there, its that simple. What would happen if all the small business people make their business a private club and require membership to enter?

        • johninPCFL says:

          Then, like the Boy Scouts, they could make up any assinine set of discriminatory restrictions they want. Of course, tax policies couldn’t favor them and general revenue tax monies would be denied them.
          So, that’s the tradeoff.

        • Sand_Cat says:

          If you don’t like anti-discrimination laws, why don’t you move to Uganda? I’m sure your ideas would fit better there. Or you could try Russia or China. Makes as much sense as your suggestion.
          As for name-calling, if you don’t like the description, all you have to do is stop being it. Come to think of it, if you don’t like it here, why don’t you go elsewhere? Same principle you suggest.
          Actually, sad to say, since they banned most of the trolls here – not my idea, nor a good one, in my opinion – please don’t go. But try to understand that when you make statements of the type you usually do, most of us don’t appreciate it. The racist bigots made the same argument you do, but then perhaps you support them, too. Or are you just an anti-gay bigot?
          You have the right to say and write what you want – no thanks to people like you – and we have the right to call you out on it. I don’t approve of such laws as either you or I “proposed,” and I hope you don’t, either, but despite the attempt to sound reasonable, you’re clearly in favor of legally-protected discrimination, and you have no legitimate complaint for being called what you are.

    • Robert Roberto says:

      You are correct, but the gay community doesn’t see it that way.

      • Sand_Cat says:

        ISTFUN is correct about something?
        That’s got to be almost as rare as your being correct about something!
        And what, precisely, pray tell, is Mr. FUN correct about?

  6. howa4x says:

    Back in the days of Harvey Milk there was a national boycott organized against that overtly Christian Anita Bryant who was the face of Florida Orange Juice and using that platform’s fame to make anti gay statements. Gays were a minority at the time but the orange juice manufactures fired her as their spokesperson. Chick-a-filet backed off anti gay statements when a national boycott was started against their product. So all LGBT people and supporters should consider picking products produced in Kansas whether they are food or others and start a national boycott. ADM the largest employer in that state would be at the governors door immediately if their products were singled out. Not buying Kansas state bonds is another way. Finally progressives, liberals and people with sense shouldn’t visit there, or vacation there to send a message back that you are not getting a dime of our money.

  7. herchato says:

    Waiting on you Kansas!

  8. daniel bostdorf says:

    I agree with a boycott…but Westboro Church has a tight grip on Kansas City and politicians. And politicians have now legalized discriminization basec on the Westboro Church model…

    There is a great article By Mark Joseph Stern: Kansas’ Anti-Gay Segregation Bill Is an Abomination

    Excerpt:

    “Supporting the bill on the House floor, Republican state Rep. Charles Macheersproclaimed that “discrimination is horrible. It’s hurtful. … It has no place in civilized society, and that’s precisely why we’re moving this bill.” The latter claim is absurd, of course—this bill is an explicit effort to make gay people’s lives miserable—but the former is absolutely true. Discrimination is hurtful and horrible, and it will also soon be codified into Kansas law, as other red states look on (and follow suit). Homophobes are nothing if not savvy, and while the judiciary dukes out the gay marriage issue, the shrewdest bigots have already moved on to the next battle. There might still be time to prevent such discrimination in bluer states. But in dark-red places like Kansas, anti-gay segregation is the new reality.”

    read more here:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2014/02/13/kansas_anti_gay_segregation_bill_is_an_abomination.html?

    • Allan Richardson says:

      One phony church on that side? The headquarters of a worldwide Christian movement called Unity are just across the line in Unity Village, MO, near Raytown. I am sure that everyone at Silent Unity is holding the people of Kansas in prayer this month.

  9. elw says:

    This law is not Constitutional and will not stand. Of course the real problem about discriminating against “the Gay” is how do you actually know unless the person makes a point of telling you. It is silly to think that it is easy to tell who is gay and who isn’t. The LBGT community is not made up of only swishers and muscle building women, it is made of people who mostly spent their youth learning how to fit in and many who grew into adults before they came to terms with their sexual orientation. Once more people are not always what they seem, how many of us have questioned the sexual orientation of both men and women only find we are wrong. Laws like these discriminate against everyone and should never be tolerated and it is why everyone, straight and gay should boycott Kansas until they repeal the law.

  10. James Bowen says:

    This bill is a disgrace. I am very pleased to hear the Kansas Senate shelved it. I think they were trying to sneak this through, and when they were exposed, they ran for cover.

  11. daniel bostdorf says:

    Well—-here goes Kansas again:

    Kansas bill would allow spanking that leaves marks

    Quote:
    “A Kansas lawmaker is proposing a bill that would allow teachers, caregivers and parents to spank children hard enough to leave marks.
    Current Kansas law allows spanking that doesn’t leave marks. State Rep. Gail Finney, a Democrat from Wichita, says she wants to allow up to 10 strikes of the hand and that could leave redness and bruising. The bill also would allow parents to give permission to others to spank their children.
    It would continue to ban hitting a child with fists, in the head or body, or with a belt or switch.
    Finney says she wants to restore parental rights and improve discipline.”

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SPANKING_BILL_KANSAS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-02-18-14-49-06

  12. daniel bostdorf says:

    Kansas Republicans Decide Anti-Gay Bill Is “Discrimination,” Kill It
    By Emily Bazelon

    “I am pleased to report that the Republican-led Kansas Senate decided this would not fly. Senate President Susan Wagle said on Thursday that a majority of the state senators in her party would not vote for the bill. They support “traditional marriage,” Wagle noted, “however, my members also don’t condone discrimination.” Thank you for that line in the sand. It should be obvious, but somehow that was lost on the Kansas House……Istead of passing, as everyone predicted, the Kansas anti-gay bill will now, in all likelihood, quietly die without hearings or a vote. I give credit to the hue and cry raised by Stern and other critics, and to the rapid pace of progress on gay rights. Even in the remaining pockets of backlash, conservatives can see that there are lengths to which they can no longer safely go. I’ve been thinking a lot about this quote from Adam Liptak’s New York Times piece on the series of federal court decisions striking down state gay-marriage bans: “It is becoming increasingly clear to judges that if they rule against same-sex marriage their grandchildren will regard them as bigots,” Andrew M. Koppelman, a law professor at Northwestern, told Liptak. The legislators in Kansas who stopped short of passing this bill still think it’s OK to oppose same-sex marriage. Nevertheless, though their definition of prejudice differs, the point stands: They don’t want to be seen as bigots, either. That’s how progress begins.”

    Whole article here:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2014/02/17/kansas_anti_gay_bill_republican_senators_admit_it_s_discrimination_kill.html

  13. daniel bostdorf says:

    From earlier today:

    Published by The Guardian:
    Kansas’ Anti-Gay Bill: Another Attempt to Force Warped Christianity on Others by Jill Filipovic

    Conservatives keep trying to use America’s religious freedom as a way to limit everyone else’s rights

    Quoting the article:
    “Last week, the Kansas House of Representatives passed a bill (pdf) that would have broadly legalized discrimination against gays and lesbians. Luckily, after national outrage, the bill was halted. But the fight isn’t over: the bill’s reliance on religious freedom to justify discrimination is a sign of right-wing efforts to come.

    The bill’s scope was impressive in its expansiveness: Kansans would have been able to legally refuse to provide just about any service to anyone whose relationship they dislike for religious reasons, and could have refused to provide services “related to” any relationship they dislike for religious reasons. The bill specifically enumerated adoption, foster care, counseling, social services, employment and employment benefits, as well as the general categories of “services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges”, as permissible areas for discrimination.

    In other words, under the bill, any individual Kansan could have hung a “No Gays, No Lesbians, No Dogs” sign on the door of his restaurant. Any individual Kansan could have refused to hire someone, serve someone a drink, rent someone an apartment, sell someone a pair of pants or accommodate someone at a hotel if that someone is gay. Any employer could even have refused to extend insurance coverage to a gay employee’s husband or wife if he thinks same-sex marriage is wrong. Even government employees paid with everyone’s tax dollars would have had carte blanche to discriminate – social workers don’t have to work with gay couples, police officers don’t have to come to the assistance of a gay person in need.

    More article here:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2014/feb/17/kansas-anti-gay-bill-religious-freedom-test

  14. Pamby50 says:

    We have the same thing going on here in Tennessee. State Sen Brian Kelsey quietly removed his name from the bill he sponsored last week. I am sure he received a lot of push back because he has a lot of small businesses in his district. They are not about to start denying people goods and services even if it is republican stronghold.

    • daniel bostdorf says:

      This just shows that if people of common sense and love in the heart can fight back against these extreme right wing/ extreme Christian groups inclusing our own “American Taliban” called the GOP/Koch brothers controlled House…

    • johninPCFL says:

      All of these bills come from ALEC, the Koch-financed right-wing nut club that hands out drafted “approved” legislation to the idiots.

      • DurdyDawg says:

        It makes you guess.. These nincompoops in higher office and corporate wankers KNOW such bills as this will not cut the mustard now days so you must wonder, just what are they doing to us behind the scenes to try and enact such stupidity in our faces? I’m certain their agenda is much deeper than trying to stifle one group. First it was the blacks.. then the women and now LGBT.. they didn’t gain with the first two and three ISN’T a charm. They’re hiding something, something big that’s going to affect this entire nation once they finish and their using the religious community as the supreme chumps.. talk about the anti-Christ.. Who say’s it was going to be ONE man?

  15. Ford Truck says:

    I live in Nebraska and the wind has really been blowing here the last few weeks. Now I know why, Kansas SUCKS and its pulling our air down there!

    • daniel bostdorf says:

      LOL…liked your post about Tom Perkins the other day too!

    • Allan Richardson says:

      And unfortunately, Nebraska doesn’t have a Senate to act as a firewall against bad legislation, unless there has been a major amendment to the state’s Constitution since I was in school.

  16. leadvillexp says:

    This is why we have seperation of religion and state. Not to stop people from expressing their religion but to stop them from forcing their religion on others. Christians have no more rights than Moslems, Jews. Wiccans or any other religion. Christians are trying to tell us how we should live. Let them believe in their god but leave the rest of us alone and by the way I am an Agnostic from a Cathloic family.. As for gay people, I only hope gays win the rights like blacks in the Freedom Summer of ’64. Fight on!

    • Allan Richardson says:

      The problem is that some people in every religion believe the only way they CAN express their religion is to interfere with other people’s expression of THEIR religion. Starting with the Puritans who came to America for freedom of religion, so they could deny that freedom to others. The Mormons were persecuted, which was wrong, but then they moved to Utah (which was part of Mexico) in order to establish a theocracy that would persecute others (even to the point of a cold blooded massacre of a wagon train of settlers who were PASSING THROUGH on the way to California). Catholic hospitals and nursing homes prohibit non-Catholic patients being able to get even life saving abortions, sterilizations, or birth control, performed on their premises, and now they want to deny non-Catholic employees the right to obtain birth control or abortions on their health insurance, even when performed in non-Catholic facilities, claiming that their religious freedom allows them to restrict the freedom of others. And as we all know, the Christian fundamentalists in red-state America and the Muslim fundamentalists in the Middle East both want to suppress the freedoms of others.

      • leadvillexp says:

        Well said. I have no problem with others beliefs and respect them. What I do have a problem with is organized religion. As soon as a religion organizes it starts trying to force others to believe as they do.

  17. daniel bostdorf says:

    From earlier today:

    Published by The Guardian:

    Kansas’ Anti-Gay Bill: Another Attempt to Force Warped Christianity on Others by Jill Filipovic

    Conservatives keep trying to use America’s religious freedom as a way to limit everyone else’s rights

    Quoting the article:

    “Last week, the Kansas House of Representatives passed a bill (pdf) that would have broadly legalized discrimination against gays and lesbians. Luckily, after national outrage, the bill was halted. But the fight isn’t over: the bill’s reliance on religious freedom to justify discrimination is a sign of right-wing efforts to come.

  18. daniel bostdorf says:

    Kansas Republicans Decide Anti-Gay Bill Is “Discrimination,” Kill It

    By Emily Bazelon

    “I am pleased to report that the Republican-led Kansas Senate decided this would not fly. Senate President Susan Wagle said on Thursday that a majority of the state senators in her party would not vote for the bill. They support “traditional marriage,” Wagle noted, “however, my members also don’t condone discrimination.” Thank you for that line in the sand. It should be obvious, but somehow that was lost on the Kansas House……Istead of passing, as everyone predicted, the Kansas anti-gay bill will now, in all likelihood, quietly die without hearings or a vote. I give credit to the hue and cry raised by Stern and other critics, and to the rapid pace of progress on gay rights. Even in the remaining pockets of backlash, conservatives can see that there are lengths to which they can no longer safely go. I’ve been thinking a lot about this quote from Adam Liptak’s New York Times piece on the series of federal court decisions striking down state gay-marriage bans: “It is becoming increasingly clear to judges that if they rule against same-sex marriage their grandchildren will regard them as bigots,” Andrew M. Koppelman, a law professor at Northwestern, told Liptak. The legislators in Kansas who stopped short of passing this bill still think it’s OK to oppose same-sex marriage. Nevertheless, though their definition of prejudice differs, the point stands: They don’t want to be seen as bigots, either. That’s how progress begins.”

    Whole article here:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2014/02/17/kansas_anti_gay_bill_republican_senators_admit_it_s_discrimination_kill.html

  19. toptwome says:

    That is pathetic. But in many right wing states they would agree completely with this type of discrimination and all thing that they are doing to hurt people.

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