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Kansas Bill Allowing Religion-Based Discrimination Against Gays is Blocked

A Kansas bill that would have allowed religious-based discrimination against gays has been blocked in its current form by several Senate Republicans who joined Democrat opposition:

WagleSusan Wagle, a conservative Republican who is president of the Kansas Senate, raised opposition to the House measure, saying she had “grown concerned about the practical impact of the bill” and “my members don’t condone discrimination.”

Ms. Wagle was backed by Senator Jeff King, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, who said he would not hold hearings on the House bill. Instead, Mr. King said, his committee would hold hearings on the broader topic of religious freedom in Kansas and explore whether the Legislature needed to take any further steps to shore up those protections.

For a helpful look at the measures present in the bill, check out Cenk Uygur's 'Young Turks' discussion of it.


Cenk Uygur Denounces Kansas Bill Allowing Religion-Based Discrimination Against Gays: VIDEO

Uygur

As you may have read on Towleroad earlier this week, the Kansas House passed a horrible bill that would allow people, groups, and businesses to discriminate against gay couples based on religious beliefs.

It's one in a recent wave of similar bills that have been introduced in Idaho, Tennessee, Arizona, and federally.

On The Young Turks, Cenk Uygur laid out the details in this deplorable Kansas bill which essentially introduces a "new segregation" in the U.S. There is one bit of hope for Kansas - the Senate president recently suggested that the bill won't have support to pass her chamber.

But we must remain vigilant against this kind of horrible legislation.

Watch and be disgusted, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Cenk Uygur Denounces Kansas Bill Allowing Religion-Based Discrimination Against Gays: VIDEO" »


Kansas Senate Leader Says Bill Condoning Discrimination Against Gays Unlikely to Pass

A Kansas bill allowing people, groups, and businesses to discriminate against gay couples based on religious beliefs which passed the House yesterday in a 72-49 vote looks unlikely to gain passage in the state Senate, President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, indicated in an email on Thursday.

WagleThe Wichita Eagle reports on Wagle's email:

“After an initial review, I’ve grown concerned about the practical impact of the bill,” Wagle said in an e-mailed statement. The bill would allow public and private employees alike to refuse service based on religious views of marriage.

“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,” Wagle said. “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."


Kansas House Advances Bill Allowing Religion-Based Discrimination Against Gays

KansasThe Kansas House has approved a bill allowing people, groups, and businesses to discriminate against gay couples based on religious beliefs, the AP reports:

The vote Tuesday was 72-42. The measure advanced even though critics suggested the bill would encourage widespread discrimination against gays and lesbians.

The House plans to take final action on the bill Wednesday, and it's likely to pass.

The Wichita Eagle editorial board condemned the bill in an editorial:

The bill is written both so broadly and specifically – with especially troubling references to “counseling, adoption, foster care” and “employment benefits” – that it would sow confusion at best.

At worst, it would put Kansas on record as valuing some religious beliefs so highly as to justify intolerant and discriminatory treatment of same-sex couples – including those lawfully wed in other states and whose marriages are recognized by the federal government.

The bill directs governments and other nonreligious entities to promptly find another employee to provide the service or otherwise ensure it is provided “if it can be done without undue hardship to the employer.”


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.


Proposed Kansas Bill Would Allow Religion-Based Discrimination Against Gays

MacheersKansas lawmakers are considering a bill from Kansas state Rep. Charles Macheers (pictured) that would protect businesses, groups, and individuals who don't want to serve gay married couples for religious reasons, the AP reports:

The legislator pushing the bill says it's designed to protect religious freedom, and Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is receptive to the idea, though he hasn't yet studied the proposal enough to offer a formal endorsement.

However, critics say the measure promotes discrimination against gays and lesbians, and is so broadly written that it could apply to any couple, gay or straight, with a less-than-traditional union.

The Kansas House's Federal and State Affairs Committee scheduled a hearing for Tuesday morning on the measure. It's not clear how quickly the committee might act on it.

Said Brownback: "I think it's something we that need to protect, our people's religious liberties and religious rights."

According to the ACLU the bill's interpretation could be broad:

Companies offering benefits to legally married gay couples or domestic partners could have their policies blocked by individual employees. She said businesses could make decisions about benefits for straight couples based on whether an owner doesn't think a marriage is traditional enough.


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