Saturday, September 30, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Saturday, September 30, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Kansas Lawmaker Scrubs ‘Ladies Only’ Dress Rules

TOPEKA, Kan. (CN) - Under public pressure, a Kansas state senator apologized for his "ladies only" dress rules for people who appear before his committee, and said he will withdraw them.

"I apologize and meant no offense," state Sen. Mitch Holmes, Republican chairman of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee, said Tuesday. "My failure to clearly specify that all conferees, regardless of gender, should strive to present themselves professionally is unacceptable."

Holmes said he would withdraw his 11-point dress guidelines , one of which was that "low cut necklines and mini-skirts are inappropriate."

Holmes wrote the rules three years ago, but they drew no attention until the Topeka Capitol Journal reported on it last week. The story was picked up by wire services and made headlines across the country.

Holmes defended his rules at first, and even questioned the patriotism of the reporter who wrote the story, writing on his Facebook page: "A particular reporter, one known for not joining in the pledge of allegiance, decided to make an issue of the committee rules I use."

Holmes relented this week after more than 300 responses were posted on his Facebook page, nearly all of them negative - and some of them requesting his fashion advice.

The posts are no longer visible on his page.

Holmes, 53, served eight years in the Kansas House before moving to the upper house in 2012. The seat of his 33rd District is St. John, pop. 1,262, in rural south-central Kansas.

He has sponsored two anti-abortion bills and a bill "supporting the 200+ years of Judeo-Christian tradition and its open expression in the U.S. military."

Categories / Uncategorized

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.