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Bill Up for Consideration in Kansas Would Allow Exemption from Non-Discrimination Policies Based on Religious Beliefs

Kansas Equality Coalition has sent out an alert about a bill that will get a hearing tomorrow in the Kansas legislature that would threaten non-discrimination laws and policies at the local level.

They write: Kansas

HB 2260 WILL LEGALIZE DISCRIMINATION against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender residents by nullifying local anti-discrimination laws and policies. All university non-discrimination policies, all school district policies, all local laws at the city and county level will be wiped out if this passes....This bill would allow anyone to claim religious exemption to local ordinances and policies, and gives them the right to sue every Kansas city, county, school district or college that has LGBT protections on its books.

University of Kansas, K-State, Pitt State, Wichita State, and every community college with LGBT protections will lose the ability to enforce their policies.  Every school district that has adopted policies protecting LGBT students will see themselves opened to lawsuits, just by having those policies on their books. Every Kansas city that has passed these protections as local law are targeted. KEC’s efforts to pass non-discrimination laws in other cities will be halted.

Contact information for the House Judiciary Members can be found HERE at the Kansas Equality Coalition. They are asking people to ask them to oppose HB2260.

A copy of the bill can be found HERE.

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  1. Seriously, not they are trying to take away rights we have already established! Can anyone that knows law tell me if the lasts ninth circuit ruling on Prop 8 regarding the unconstitutionality of "removing the right" of marriage can be used here? Would we have to sue the state of Kansas?

    Posted by: RonTEX | Feb 13, 2012 2:32:52 PM

  2. I agree with you rontex looks like a question for the ACLU

    Posted by: Mark | Feb 13, 2012 2:40:08 PM

  3. It's interesting and predictable that the bill specifically eliminates from the concept of "religious freedom" any use of it by those whose religious beliefs are hindered by draconian and discriminatory laws passed by the state. In other words, gays could now sue for religious discrimination, and they should be able to.

    Posted by: Rance | Feb 13, 2012 2:43:05 PM

  4. The law as written does not in fact target GLBT folk. SO kids what do we learn from this? Join a progressive church, form one yourself and then discriminate against anyone you want to for any reason (say because of their "sexual orientation") and claim your "deeply held faith" is being suppressed if you can not discriminate against those you want to (because you don't like their heterosexuality). Read the law. Knowledge is power. Then act accordingly.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Feb 13, 2012 2:47:46 PM

  5. This would be a real victory for those whose religious beliefs forbid any contact with the Christ-killers and the mud people.

    Posted by: BobN | Feb 13, 2012 3:43:40 PM

  6. If this bill passes, pass the popcorn because I can't wait to see how the right wing Christians react to lawsuits being brought by right wing Muslims who are not afforded their right to discriminate based on their religious beliefs.

    Posted by: Mike | Feb 13, 2012 3:44:50 PM

  7. Kansas Quick Facts...

    Interesting facts about Kansas: None
    Notable people from Kansas: None
    High Tech Industry in Kansas: None
    Average Education level in Kansas: None
    Major Cities in Kansas: None

    Posted by: S.C. | Feb 13, 2012 4:14:30 PM

  8. S.C. - The high school graduation rate in Kansas is higher than NY, CA, and MA, and it ranks 14th in the nation for bachelor's degree attainment. If your snark about Kansas makes you feel better, great, but don't kid yourself - this is part of a concerted national effort, and these legislative attacks could be coming to a state near you. I suggest you read up about ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council). Scary

    Posted by: Tim | Feb 13, 2012 5:27:04 PM

  9. Will this bring the Taliban honor killings to the US, Kansas especially? And these people were so worried about the Taliban entering our country.

    Posted by: Dale | Feb 13, 2012 6:13:03 PM

  10. Why should they get special rights? Just because they're ignorant?

    Posted by: keep your religion to yourself please | Feb 13, 2012 8:01:58 PM

  11. Now this -- THIS -- is what 'special rights' look like!

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Feb 13, 2012 10:13:42 PM

  12. I just can't believe something like this wouldn't be declared unconstitutional - or perhaps I should say, shouldn't. Anything' s possible in Wingnutville. Your right to religious freedom ends with my inalienable right to pursue happiness. You can believe what you want. You can't force others to live their lives according to your beliefs in the public arena beyond the obvious ones like thou shalt not kill, steal, assault. In this country, public institutions - and this includes those that merely interact with the public - must not discriminate. Those institutions supported by public funding must respect the rights of all of the public. I can't force you to like that I'm gay (or Jewish or Mexican or whatever). Your not liking that I'm gay (or anything else) because of your belief system is your problem, not mine.

    Freedom means everyone gets to be free from interference, but within reason. Society must create a structure that is fair to all. Letting people opt out of behaving civilly to one another seems a very dangerous precedent to set.

    Posted by: TJ | Feb 14, 2012 11:57:29 AM

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