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Kansas

Kansas House Republicans pass bill that OKs anti-gay discrimination

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

TOPEKA, Kansas — The Republican controlled Kansas state House on Wednesday evening passed a bill that would effectively legalize anti-gay discrimination based on religious objections.

In a party-line vote of 89-27, the House advanced legislation sponsored by Republican State Rep. Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe) that would allow a religious defense to discriminate against gays.

Critics of the measure contend that the bill is primarily aimed at the small college town of Lawrence, the one remaining municipality in the entire state with such protections.

Two Lawrence representatives attacked the bill, calling the Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act, an attempt to make ineffective a city of Lawrence anti-discrimination ordinance that includes sexual orientation.

The bill would prohibit state and local governments from substantially burdening a person’s religious beliefs unless the government can prove that the burden is advancing a compelling government interest and is the least restrictive way of advancing that interest.

The measure is supported by GOP Governor Sam Brownback’s administration, the Kansas Catholic Conference and Concerned Women for America of Kansas. It was opposed by Lawrence officials, the Kansas Equality Coalition and the state chapter of the National Organization for Women.

When questioned during the vote, Kinzler acknowledged that the bill will allow landlords to refuse to rent to LGBTQ people. “I think that’s generally correct,” he said.

One lawmaker angrily denounced Kinzer’s legislation, calling it “homophobic” and said that it will hurt Kansas’ image.

“It sends the message that Kansas is not welcoming. Kansas will become known as the land of the pure as defined by the few,” State Rep. Charlie Roth said.

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53 more reader comments:

  1. that’s terrible

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 6:53pm
  2. shocking !!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 6:53pm
  3. how can that be constitutional

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 6:54pm
  4. Why like this? -_-

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 6:54pm
  5. WHAAAAAT???? no way…this is the 21 st century…correct…? thats just …..TOOO MUCH!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 6:54pm
  6. USA: One step forward, two steps back. Always.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 6:55pm
  7. Appalling!!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 6:55pm
  8. fucking a…

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 6:56pm
  9. bunch of sick fucks. it’s so wrong.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 6:56pm
  10. reprehensible…I hope Lambda Legal or another similar organization gets involved and sues them…has anyone contacted the ACLU?

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 6:57pm
  11. once these old f*cks who have all these traditional views on the way they think we should live get out of office and the current young adult generation makes its presence known and starts to push their way into the offices…hopefully we’ll start to see a change. This is just a shame. There is no way that discrimination should be “OK” …. it makes it that much harder for those who are young and gay in Kansas because now they pretty much jeopardize their lives if they want to come out…only to face all of the discrimination and hate. Hopefully people in the state rally against this bill.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:00pm
  12. Big Surprise. Fail.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:00pm
  13. Is US LGBT rights going back in Time ? Its appauling.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:01pm
  14. That’s correct… that does make me don’t want to go to Kansas (among many US states) because it look dangerous/unsafe place to go and I certainly will avoid it. Very bad move.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:04pm
  15. coming from the state the WBC is based out of… not surprising

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:05pm
  16. As a resident of Kansas, I am more than disgusted. I’m a bit scared of what this means for me and my children!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:06pm
  17. So discrimination is allowed?! … That’s totally insane. :/

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:07pm
  18. Not really surprised at this coming out of the black heart of america.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:08pm
  19. This kind of thing is a sign of desperation. All of the haters know that their time is running out so they are trying to pass crap like this. They are a dying breed and their views will be viewed upon as being archaic sooner than later. They are backed in a corner and this is all they have. I mean, it’s not like the economy or anything is important. Spreading hatred is way more important.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:10pm
  20. WoW
    How can they get away with that!?

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:11pm
  21. What happened to seperation of church and state????

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:12pm
  22. Awful.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:14pm
  23. WTF? I’m sorry, what century am I in???

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:16pm
  24. For those who may not know, religion is very important in the Bible Belt. This bill is focused on protecting religious freedom. Most people in this state see no need to protect a group that they see as threatening to their way of life. The way of thinking is concrete. I’m not sure how the organizations I belong to are going to rally more than they have. We need every voice!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:18pm
  25. wow that goes against what the constitution of the U.S stands for in so many ways

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:19pm
  26. Land of the free?

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:23pm
  27. WOW JUST WOW >(

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:24pm
  28. who what why did any body do any thing

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:26pm
  29. This is simply horrible and discriminatory! No wonder Dorothy was looking for a better place over the rainbow! :)

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:27pm
  30. that kind of shit have in their brains?

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:32pm
  31. I don’t understand this. People have rights.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:39pm
  32. Not proud to say that I’m a Kansan.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:40pm
  33. They have got to be joking. Please tell me they’re joking

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:48pm
  34. I like how the location is ‘Topeka,KS’. Guess who lives there? The infamous Westboro Baptist Church! I can tell y’all one thing, WBC is probably having a party. This is just disgusting! What year are we in again? Don’t be surprised if they have anything to do with it.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:50pm
  35. the home of the Fred Phelps cult/family? Why am I not shocked?

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:52pm
  36. …can I move now?

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:54pm
  37. Fear and Hate are alive and well. Shame on you Kansas! Shame! Oh yeah…. And Fuck You!!!! :) That felt good…. Sorry for the profanity…..

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:54pm
  38. I need to move the F out of this state

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 8:14pm
  39. well there’s one more place I’d never move to

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 9:16pm
  40. it sad to think that in this the 21century if so then we should be going forward not back ward and what is so wrong is that i`m a gay Christian but all i get is that i`m going to hell

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 9:18pm
  41. Not surprised because it’s Kansas. We just have to continue fighting against the hate and bigotry. They are all evil.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 9:49pm
  42. This is clearly against the 1st amendment to the U.S. constitution.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 10:13pm
  43. There’s no place better than home.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 10:14pm
  44. kansas sucks

    Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 10:45pm
  45. run Dorothy

    Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 4:17am
  46. ????

    Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 5:20am
  47. wow!!!thats seems to be major step in the wrong direction!!!!…#straightbutsupportive

    Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 6:26am
  48. and they wander why they get slammed with tornado after tornado and they just keep up thier hatred, where r the as__ns when u need them?

    Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 6:47am
  49. can I discriminate against Kansas now?

    Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 7:06am
  50. One more reason I am glad I got out. Lawrence was one of the few relatively decent places in that state, glad they are fighting this.

    Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 8:57am
  51. I am forced to agree with Daniel Mitchell. I believe Kansas of all the unlucky states, is the MOST unlucky state of all time in America. And you know what really sickens me to my stomach is how people like those in Kansas use God and religion as an excuse or a pawn for hatred, greed, racism, violence, or bullying. That’s what makes me want to throw up.

    Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 9:15am
  52. theGOP is TRYING t omake this country a THEOCRACY…WAKE UP AMERICA..vote the kooks out and repeal their NASTY spirited laws i nthe name of religion..we are NOT a theocracy….

    Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 2:21pm
  53. If Dorothy was around today she would leave Kansas for good

    Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 2:29pm