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Kansas

Kan. House panel hears testimony on bill allowing discrimination against gays

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Updated: 3:00 p.m. CST

TOPEKA, Kan. — Opponents of same-sex marriage urged Kansas legislators Tuesday to approve new legal protections for bakeries, photographers and others who refuse for religious reasons to supply goods or services for same-sex ceremonies, anticipating that federal courts could soon strike down the state’s ban on such unions.

KansasBut gay rights advocates said the bill backed by social conservatives and the Kansas Catholic Conference would permit individuals, businesses and groups to discriminate against gays and lesbians and encourage government officials to ignore court rulings favoring gay marriage.

The House Federal and State Affairs Committee’s hearing on the bill came in an uncertain legal climate for Kansas and other states that ban gay marriage. Federal judges in Oklahoma and Utah recently struck down bans in those states, which are under the jurisdiction of the same federal appeals court as Kansas.

Under the bill, no individual, business or religious group with “sincerely held religious beliefs” could be required by “any governmental entity” to provide services, facilities, goods, employment or employment benefits related to any same-sex marriage or domestic partnership.

The measure also prohibits anti-discrimination lawsuits on such grounds.

The committee was continuing its hearings Wednesday and hadn’t set a date for acting on the measure.

Supporters of the bill cite examples where a state agency in Oregon and an administrative law judge in Colorado recently found that bakers who refused to make wedding cakes for same-sex ceremonies had discriminated against the couples. Cases in other states have involved refusals to provide flowers or take photos of same-sex marriages.

State Rep. Charles Macheers, a conservative Shawnee Republican and attorney who’s pushing the Kansas measure, acknowledged that he knows of no similar cases in Kansas. But supporters said they’re trying to prevent similar problems.

The bill would also allow religiously-affiliated adoption agencies to continue declining to place children with same-sex couples or unmarried individuals.

“Religious freedom has always meant the freedom to live one’s faith and to bring your religiously informed moral judgments into the public square,” said Michael Schuttloffel, executive director of the Kansas Catholic Conference.

Gay rights advocates worry about a provision allowing government employees to invoke religious liberty protections to avoid involvement in providing services.

The bill’s backers said workers’ ability to opt out still would be limited by federal civil rights laws and past court decisions.

But Tom Witt, executive director of Equality Kansas, the state’s leading gay-rights group, called it “just another way to maintain the discrimination against a minority of people in this state.”

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137 more reader comments:

  1. Of course, KANSAS!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:31pm
  2. How disgusting can this be?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:31pm
  3. Maybe they should all move to Russia

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:33pm
  4. Wow this is so WRONG!!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:34pm
  5. This group wants to protect their religious believes, but how about protecting the rights of the LGBT community

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:34pm
  6. I grew up there. Won’t be going back any time soon.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:35pm
  7. These Homo Stultus, knuckle dragging assholes know NOTHING about the Constitution! Straight ally here!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:36pm
  8. What century are we living in?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:36pm
  9. Its okay a federal judge will rule this unconstitutional and the process will begin

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:36pm
  10. Being a lesbian… That’s one of the reasons I moved out of that state. Living in Iowa now where all people are welcome :)

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:37pm
  11. This is exactly why my partner & I moved from this bias state! Kansas is stuck in th stone age!! How horrible

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:38pm
  12. Living in Kansas… this just sucks!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:38pm
  13. Boycott businesses that ban people is the only answer to stop religionious people doing business with the gay community

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:38pm
  14. Bible Belt at its best…

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:38pm
  15. time to march against these terriost..

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:38pm
  16. they forgot we are us citizens…

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:39pm
  17. Are you serious, this is sickening! Kansas is not being called Kansas anymore, now it’s called THE STATE OF HATE!!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:41pm
  18. Why is it that humans must hate on others. Years ago it was a persons ethnic origin, women, blacks and people with disabilities. It is the year 2014. When do we just learn tolerance andacceptance. As humans if we must have a fight then choose to save the planet before its too late.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:41pm
  19. Guess I’m not going down to Kansas to visit a friend who’s moving there lol

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:41pm
  20. So when did religions have to start trying to force people to believe as they do? Is their attendance that low? Wonder why… What Neanderthals smh

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:42pm
  21. you would think the home of Dorthy would be a little more tolerant of her friends from 0z.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:42pm
  22. Really? A bill to allow discrimination? That’s really silly…Idiots

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:43pm
  23. Seriously unacceptable. If the 10 circuit court of appeals rules that a gay marriage ban is unconstitutional, how would this be affected?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:44pm
  24. I think we’re not in Oz anymore toto!!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:44pm
  25. this is so backwards and selfish…..i hope their greed and bigotry will destroy them all….ignorant fools

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:44pm
  26. don't say ALL; just the f'g idiots in office!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Replied on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:09pm
  27. Way to go the opposite direction Kansas,

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:44pm
  28. Land of the free…..not

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:45pm
  29. Ithis is crap.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:46pm
  30. Straight people amaze me of how ignorant they are and controlling…..unbelievable….

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:46pm
  31. substitute ‘black’ or an other minority group for gay….slippery slope….as a Christian….I am disgusted.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:47pm
  32. What the heck is going on?!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:48pm
  33. This is the state that gave us Melissa Etheridge……once laws like this pass, it is important to shine a light on those who choose to discriminate…..so everyone knows where they stand. Let them try to be successful in that light…..and let the chips fall where they may……

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:52pm
  34. Fucking assholes.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:53pm
  35. Well clearly it is promoting discrimination. Sad world we live in.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:53pm
  36. waooow

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:55pm
  37. How about we help the gays move out of these crappy states and we all just live in the top 10

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:57pm
  38. wtf!?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:58pm
  39. There’s something really wrong with this country.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:58pm
  40. Kansas sucks

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:00pm
  41. Thanks Kansas!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:05pm
  42. so, you're FOR discrimination?

    Replied on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:07pm
  43. such BULLSHIT!!!!!!! come on Kansas, get over yourself already!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:06pm
  44. its a good thing they have enough money for court costs

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:09pm
  45. WELCOME TO KANSAS: I mean, Germany, WWII type…WELCOME TO AMERICA…the Land of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, but not for the Gay Man in Kansas…WELCOME TO kansas…

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:11pm
  46. When Dorothy and Toto left Kansas, it was for the better.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:16pm
  47. even though in the books they went back for a bit they left perminantly with their family to be with Ozma(who interestingly was MtF transgender and transitioned in the books).

    Replied on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:49pm
  48. If the GOP is all about freedom? Then why do they constantly want to write discriminatory laws? Such assholes!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:17pm
  49. What’s WITH these people?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:19pm
  50. Thats BS

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:21pm
  51. I just can’t comprehend these fkn jack ass’s who run states like Kansas, Oklahoma, AZ, TX, and FLA. backwards, hatefilled, coniving, insecure witch hunting douchbags….
    You KNOW they all watch porn and that’s ok….closeted pervs…they all get their hair done, hair dressers are gay, they go out to eat, waiters are gay, the wives have their homes decorated….interior decorators are gay, and the wives buy high end fashion….fashion designers are gay……so these politicians BENEFIT from the gay community in some form is my point……but according to them its not ok for gay ppl to ne married or benefit from public services ie ….housing or hotel, credit, Ins benefits ie social sec. of deceased partner etc….
    Outrageous and hypocritical!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:22pm
  52. And this is why tornadoes should continue to strike….SAVE DOROTHY

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:24pm
  53. Thanks. Your stupidity will lead to a federal decision. Keep it up bigots. You are helping the cause :)

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:26pm
  54. Oh Kansas! SIGH! Maybe they need to check the water there too. Something is obviously wrong with the people there.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:28pm
  55. Wasn’t this already decided to be unconstitutional?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:28pm
  56. stranger!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:29pm
  57. It’s not going to pass. Even a blind man could see how that’s unconstitutional

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:33pm
  58. This can’t be happening …. our children were hurt enuf by Hitlerism, & that was supposed to be in the PAST…

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:34pm
  59. Unconstitutional are they really that stupid

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:36pm
  60. You GOTTA be kidding me!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:37pm
  61. The blessing in this ? Keeps people talking about the civil rights issues. Keep talking and sharing, but keep it clean and keep it respectful. “Catch more flies with honey…”

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:38pm
  62. Wtf?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:41pm
  63. Federal Lawsuit

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:41pm
  64. BIGOTS unite :-(

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:42pm
  65. And if that passes discriminate against the heterosexuals that gave them life. Gay people don’t make gay children.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:44pm
  66. WHAT?????????

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:48pm
  67. DISLIKE!! What other people do with there lives is there business!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:51pm
  68. I thought Ozma was FtMtF ?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:53pm
  69. What a lowly place

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:55pm
  70. Seems to be to many Bigots in Kansas….So Sad..

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 4:05pm
  71. What the freak!?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 4:22pm
  72. I live in Kansas! Yesterday they also discussed a bill to ban surrogate mothers.. The people running this state are stuck in the 1950′s. It is legal to be fired and/or kicked out just for being gay here in the lovely state of Kansas. All in the name of “religious freedom” PPFFTTTTT

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 4:25pm
  73. Can I propose a bill that allows and in fact demands everyone discriminate against rich white heterosexual christian males?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 4:31pm
  74. Maybe a house will fall on them!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 4:33pm
  75. THIS DOESNT MUSTER

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 4:34pm
  76. Hideous bigots

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 4:34pm
  77. The Kansas government should be proud. They have managed, across the board, to become the absolute worst state in the country. Education, civil rights, ecology, health care, etc. You name it, they’ve managed to shit all over it.
    As others have suggested, an underground railroad needs to be set up to get the humans out of this 3rd world state.
    “It’s not our state, it’s just the government here!” Guess what folks, they are one and the same. The only reason a state IS a state is because of it’s government. That’s where the borders come from.

    [state -2. a nation or territory considered as an organized political community under one government.]

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 4:38pm
  78. What would you expect from the city that the Westboro baptist started in?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 4:39pm
  79. Let’s discriminate against Christian and Muslims to than

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 4:42pm
  80. I guess they don’t care at all that this will be D.O.A. when it gets to court? As long as they can pander to their base, on taxpayer money, why should they care?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 4:42pm
  81. And they wonder why god it trying to wipe them off the map with tornados!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 4:44pm
  82. Talk about a bunch of uncaring religious leaders and politicians. Scum of the earth. How terrible.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 4:49pm
  83. another sick state

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 4:57pm
  84. Just emailed my reps!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 5:01pm
  85. What is it they drink that makes them so hateful?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 5:12pm
  86. It can pass but it would immediately be ruled unconstitutional. You CANNOT legally allow discrimination for any reason.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 5:24pm
  87. Because, we’re Kansas, the unevolving state, and THAT’S how we run!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 5:28pm
  88. One more to overcome! All good things take time! patience, look atthat all has happened in so short of time

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 5:29pm
  89. Good luck at Supreme Court

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 5:34pm
  90. Just because somethings legal doesn’t mean its right.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 5:38pm
  91. it will get struck down

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 5:41pm
  92. geez!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 5:50pm
  93. Religion = hate. You are not better than me. I am not a lesser citizen in the USA just because of your religion. You chose your religion, I didn’t choose to be gay.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 5:50pm
  94. Yeah…My Home State being stupid.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 5:53pm
  95. WBC would be all for it, naturally

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 5:56pm
  96. welp, i was already fired from my job in this state because i’m transgender (made others uncomfortable). nothing i can do about it. the state already robbed me of food assistance after three months even though i’m homeless. they don’t care if i’m homeless and hungry and having trouble finding a decent job because i’m not worth shit to them. :D

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 5:58pm
  97. Can Westboro be behind this?????

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 6:03pm
  98. They really are clueless!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 6:05pm
  99. As my wife has mentioned, wait until the Muslims jump on this bandwagon. Shari’ah anyone? Dont let hate and ignorance make you do something you’ll regret.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 6:10pm
  100. Wait ALLOWING discrimination…wow…just said hopefully it dose not pass…

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 6:10pm
  101. DISGUSTING I’LL BAND KANSAS….BUT I’ll SUPPORT MY FELLOWS OUT THERE……WHY THIS MORONS DO NOT GET THE MESSAGE!!!!!!!GOOD LUCK FOR THE GAY COMMUNITIES IN KANSAS…….

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 6:15pm
  102. BAND KANSAS…..ON VACATION DO NOT STOP IN KANSAS.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 6:17pm
  103. very ashamed….

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 6:25pm
  104. What happened to the Constitution? Separation of church & state? They should feel ashamed, but won’t because shame only goes in one direction with these bigots.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 6:27pm
  105. Sick.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 6:34pm
  106. Kansas I actually worse than right wing Alabama!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 6:39pm
  107. So very wrong

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 6:40pm
  108. well thats nice. really nice.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 7:02pm
  109. It’s Kansas, why am I NOT surprised…which is NOT to say there aren’t some very good folks there….sheesh!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 7:14pm
  110. Way to go Kansas! Let’s enshrine hate and bigotry under the shield of bible thumping ignorance. Only in Kansas!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 7:23pm
  111. Dorothy fcuked off years ago because of the Kansas Haters.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 7:25pm
  112. Disgraceful. I’m so ashamed to live in KS.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 7:27pm
  113. So wrong. So much that needs to addressed, but bigotry wins.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 7:29pm
  114. ….and the good ‘christian’ morons of Kansas will lose…

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 7:30pm
  115. WTF?!?! How about we instead allow discrimination against all GOP! Both the elected ones and the fucking idiots who voted them in!!!!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 7:36pm
  116. My home state …I am ashamed!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 7:58pm
  117. This is just scary!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 8:25pm
  118. HOME OF WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH I’M NOT SURPRISED

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 8:34pm
  119. Nazis!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 8:39pm
  120. Giving people the right to be assholes in the name of God is the American way.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 8:40pm
  121. How the fuck can you allow people to be assholes to others? Fuck Kansas. Fucking pricks.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 8:45pm
  122. Despicable, how bigots think it’s alright to treat people this way

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 8:48pm
  123. disgusting… are those same businesses discriminating against divorced persons? Overweight people? etc?? Those are forbidden in the Bible too

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 9:29pm
  124. No wonder Dorothy flew outta there in her house. Where the hell would she be able to wear those fabulous ruby slippers in Kansas?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 9:34pm
  125. Kansas will just lose a lawsuit and have that law overturned, like all the others.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 9:35pm
  126. This needs shut down and fast!! Hell no we don’t pass a law allowing religious bigots or not even religious to discriminate. We know where this every one you don’t like u will just deny service religious or not You can just say that even if u do not have a Christian bone in your body witch would make since why u would be that way.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 9:36pm
  127. Rediculouse!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 9:44pm
  128. I know many do not favor the current president however perhaps WE ALL need to get a letter to him about this. Something like this needs to be addressed and handled. There is no reason we should be treated this way. Religion or not….no excuse for this…None what so ever.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 9:44pm
  129. I think this open to a big mess if they pass it. I’m just saying not only against the lgtb but say Jews or black and anyone other then white bible thumping Americans, because they could use it to discriminate all of them” Based on their religion”
    I seriously hope this doesn’t pass here. Ugh

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 9:45pm
  130. You can pass a million laws quote as many Bible verses and try your best to pray away the gay but folks we are here and throughout history we have always been here. We deliver your mail, we teach your children, we sit on judges benches and in the house of congress, we are every color every size and shape. We fight for ” rights” not special treatment but equal treatment. Its time to stop treating your fellow human beings like they do not matter, who I love, who I make my life with is not up for debate or approval and my right to happiness is in my own hands not in a vote. Keep on fighting keep on gaining ground in the end we one day will all be created equal. Thanks

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 9:48pm
  131. When did Kansas become part of Iran? What part of “equal protection under the law” do they not get? The American Taliban at work.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 9:49pm
  132. toto too?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 9:50pm
  133. This country is suppose to be one of the greatest in the world but when you have these people making these kind of laws or judging people for who they are then it not instead this country has become about Hare-Violence-Discrimnation and religion.When it should be about Love-Respect-Acceptance & Equality for everyone

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 9:58pm
  134. So here is the deal, “All you queers and faggots, just you be happy to pay your taxes and count your blessings when you receive crumbs from the table of bigotry”

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 9:59pm
  135. This shows that they are lonely hateful bigots running scared, they fear anything that is different from them. The freakin house panel junkies, don’t and will NEVER have any respect from me, none!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 10:04pm
  136. Kansas passes this Bill then I will add them to the Boycott Blacklist Blackbook!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 10:14pm