Denise Selbee-Koch, the co-owner of Topeka’s Dirty Girl Adventures, faces a ridiculous situation. Because her husband is a law enforcement officer, state law decrees that the retail location of her business can’t serve alcohol.


Or as Selbee-Koch put it, according to The Topeka Capital-Journal’s Sherman Smith, “A large number of our clientele are middle-aged women. They like to drink wine. We can’t serve wine.”


The law is an antiquated holdover and should be changed. Full stop.


It’s easy enough to understand how it came to be. As Smith reported: “Rep. John Barker, a Republican from Abilene and retired judge, said the restriction is a holdover from an era in which Kansas had pockets of dry communities, especially in rural areas.”


“The concern was to keep law enforcement above reproach,” Barker told the hearing.


That’s fine. But women are no longer property of their husbands, and responsible use of alcohol is widely accepted in our state. It makes no sense to exclude a class of people from liquor licenses because of their marital ties. We simply need common sense in this matter.


Thankfully, that common sense seems to be spreading. The state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Division of the Kansas Department of Revenue isn’t taking a position on the bill, and no one testified against the proposal. While that doesn’t guarantee the change will be accepted — especially given the current legislative blockade at the Capitol — we can hope that leadership takes notice.


The irony here is that Dirty Girls Adventures is prompting the change to being with. The business aims to get women outside and exercising. Their retail location came after several years of the group organizing tours and events.


A relaxing glass of wine at the company’s retail outlet should be a no-brainer. The company isn’t opening a saloon or speakeasy or biker bar. And even if they were, the marital status of an owner shouldn’t make a difference.


Kansas is a state that takes pride in its commonsense, practical approach to problems. When problems arise, we take care of them. Especially when those problems result from antiquated, outdated law, there shouldn’t be any reason to question or delay changes.


Otherwise, we are penalizing people for no reason or inviting deception on state forms. Neither should be tolerated.