Kansas House Panel Advances Bill Allowing Religion-Based Discrimination Against Gays

The Kansas Federal and State Affairs Committee has advanced to the full House a bill that would allow religion-based discrimination against gay married couples, the AP reports:

KansasKansas law already protects employees from being sanctioned based on religious beliefs, but supporters of House Bill 2453 said more is necessary to protect religious freedom.

The bill says governmental entities cannot require individuals, businesses or religious groups to provide services, facilities, goods or employment benefits related to any marriage or domestic partnership. It also prohibits anti-discrimination lawsuits on such grounds.

Critics say the measure promotes discrimination against gays and lesbians and encourages government officials to ignore court rulings favoring gay marriage.


  1. bkmn says

    Unfortunately it would take years to get the issue of Constitutionality settled.

    Fortunately crap like this helps to make the case for heightened scrutiny now.

  2. CPT_Doom says

    @ Wolf, if it is as broadly written as the AP is reporting, it certainly isn’t legal. Ironically, if the law only singled out same-sex ceremonies, it might pass legal scrutiny because federal anti-discrimination laws don’t cover sexual orientation or gender identity. However, including all marriages in the law means it would run afoul of federal laws preventing discrimination based on race, religion or marital status (e.g., a Catholic baker refusing a wedding cake for a previously divorced person).

    As for the Constitutionality of the law, that is an evolving issue. As the rulings on same-sex marriage suits, as well as the jury ruling that just came down, occur, it does appear that sexual orientation, at least, is being given the strictest level of scrutiny, which could eventually lead to the overturning of this law.

  3. Ben in Oakland says

    Doom, I think you may be wrong on that.

    We have laws at every level of government which for bid discrimination on the basis of religious belief. This one singles out gay people as exceptions to that. I would be amazed if this passes even state constitutional muster.

  4. HadenoughBS says

    If this law passes, I can’t see it taking very long for it to go to the courts for adjudication. How it would pass constitutional muster is beyond me.

  5. Hey Darlin' says

    As a counterpoint there needs to be protection in place for customers who might accidently patronize on of these businesses. If you want your business to fall into a new class code then they should develop a new class code for these more discriminatory businesses that they can apply for and that we can look up on a national database. Should they come to their senses and realize there’s actually no need for legalized discrimination then they can simply revoke the class code and go back to business as the constitution and founders of our nation intended.

  6. says

    Discrimination based on personal objections have already been ruled unconstitutional. Scalia ‘every person would be a law unto themselves’.

    They’re trying to shroud this version as a ‘religious freedom’ ignoring the fact that MOST religious people now are in favor of equality. It’s the zealot fundamentalists that are pushing this.

    Sad. Pathetic. The obvious disconnect of claiming discrimination as a religious tenet. This is why there’s a reformation movement afoot today. People of true faith are sick of being held hostage by the fundamentalists.

    Pay heed Priebus. GOP.

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