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Tea Party Group Renews Push for Kansas Bill Legalizing Gay Discrimination

A Wichita-based tea party group is attempting to revive a Kansas bill that would allow religious-based discrimination against gays, with the group saying the bill is as much a protection of LGBT rights as it is a protection of the rights of Christians.The bill is currently blocked in the Kansas Senate after a group of Republican lawmakers, including Senate President Susan Wagle, joined the Democrat opposition last week. The Lawrence Journal-World reports:

Craig gabelCraig Gabel [pictured], leader of Kansans for Liberty, sent a message addressed to "conservative activists" asking them to contact senators who are refusing to allow a vote on a house bill dubbed the Kansas Religious Freedom Act, The Wichita Eagle reported. […]

“This is not a Christian battle this is a freedom battle, including the freedom of LGBT couples, the sample letter said. "If an LGBT couple owned a meeting space would any of us like to force them to rent it for an anti-gay rally and wedding? Should an African American and his LGBT partner be forced to lease his space or services for a KKK wedding?"

Thomas Witt, executive director of Equality Kansas, blasted the notion that the bill contains anything but pure animus directed at the LGBT community.

"The sophistry is breathtaking," he said. "There's only one target in this bill and it is gay couples."

The only people who would benefit from the legislation are anti-gay individuals who would gain legal protection if they defy their employers and refuse to serve gay couples, he said.


Jon Stewart Rips Arizona and Kansas for Bills Legalizing Anti-Gay Discrimination: VIDEO

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In a series last night accusing certain U.S. states of being the "meth labs of democracy," Jon Stewart blasted bills in Arizona (which passed) and Kansas (which failed) that would allow businesses to discriminate against gays based on religious beliefs.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Jon Stewart Rips Arizona and Kansas for Bills Legalizing Anti-Gay Discrimination: VIDEO" »


Hundreds Rally In Kansas to Protest Bill Allowing Religious-Based Discrimination Against Gays

Kansas

Some 250 people joined in a rally outside the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka yesterday to protest against a proposed bill that would have allowed religious-based discrimination against gays. The Lawrence Journal-World reports:

During Sunday's protest, which was organized by the gay rights advocacy group Equality House of Topeka, participants formed two lines behind signs labeled "Second Class Citizens" and "Straight People." The lines went up the south steps of the Capitol.

"We don't judge others," said Dee Moore, of Topeka. "We think all are God's children."

Jeremy Morgan, also a Topeka resident, said when he first heard about the bill, it frightened him that he and his spouse, who were legally married in Iowa, could be denied services.

"We don't want to be humiliated. We want to be treated like everybody else," Morgan said.

The negative publicity surrounding the Kansas GOP’s efforts to legalize discrimination appears to have worked, as several leading Senate Republicans in the state have now blocked the bill in its current form

Video of the protest, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Hundreds Rally In Kansas to Protest Bill Allowing Religious-Based Discrimination Against Gays" »


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."


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