Kansas lawmakers propose anti-gay bill
Initial bill passed but unlikely to pass in the state Senate, say lawmakers
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Last week, the Kansas House of Representatives passed a bill that would legally allow any individual to refuse services to gay couples, based on religious reasons, if it hadn’t been stopped after international outrage.
The bill, if passed, would sanction anyone to hang a sign on the front door of their business saying, ‘No gays allowed’, and it would be perfectly legal to do so, based on their own religious beliefs that same-sex marriage is wrong.
Kansas is no rainbow-state, falling behind in their support for LGBT rights in comparison to other parts of the US, since it banned same-sex marriage in April 2005.
Susan Wagle, the Republican president of the Senate, has objected to the potential law in a public statement: “A strong majority of my members support laws that define traditional marriage, protect religious institutions, and protect individuals from being forced to violate their personal moral values.
“However, my members also don’t condone discrimination. If we cannot find ample common ground to ease legitimate concerns, I believe a majority of my caucus will not support the bill.”
Gay couples could be refused to rent an apartment, to buy groceries from their local shop or asked to leave as they share a quiet drink with their friends if the owner disapproves of their sexual orientation.
The conservative law attempts to give religious people ‘freedom’ according to their beliefs, but also gives them the freedom to exclude gay people from any form of public life. Alarmingly, this bill states this would also apply to government employees, meaning emergency services, could potentially refuse to assist gay couples in situations of need.
The bill, currently put on hold, awaits further votes in the state’s Senate. The main concern for Kansans is the anti-gay bill will be blindly overlooked as an as it refers to sex and gender, and does not directly refer to the ground of sexual orientation. Though this causes further concern that discrimination is open to interpretation beyond sexuality.
Read the official HB 2453 attempts to justify discrimination, based on religious freedom -
Words: Zazz Walker (@Zazz Walker)