Kansas is the 34th U.S. state, admitted to the Union on January 29, 1861. Its capital city is Topeka, its largest city is Wichita, and largest metropolitan area is Kansas City.

LGBT Rights in Kansas: A constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and same-sex civil unions was approved by voters in April 2005. State law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in government employment. only. Kansas's hate crimes law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.

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Westboro Baptist protesters chased out of Okla. town by unwelcoming residents

Monday, April 7, 2014
MOORE, Okla. -- If members of the Topeka-Kan.-based Westboro Baptist Church thought they'd find a friendly reception in nearby Oklahoma, they were mistaken. In fact, when church members brought their "God hates fags" and "God hates America" protest to Moore, Okla., on Sunday, they were met by an unwelcoming, angry crowd. [ Read more → ]

Kan. gay rights group says tenure proposal could lead to discrimination

Monday, April 7, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. -- The leading gay-rights group in Kansas also is lobbying against a proposal in a school funding bill to end tenure for teachers. [ Read more → ]
William Marotta

Sperm donor wants court to block paternity test aimed at making him pay child support

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. — A Kansas man who provided sperm to a lesbian couple has asked the Kansas Supreme Court to direct a district court judge to block the state's request that the man undergo paternity testing. [ Read more → ]
Fred Phelps

Fred Phelps’ hate seen by some as helping to advance gay rights

Friday, March 21, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Fred Phelps Sr. led his small Topeka church for more than two decades in a bellicose crusade against gays and lesbians, saying they were worthy of death and openly declaring — often at military funerals — that the U.S. was doomed because of its tolerance of homosexuality. [ Read more → ]
Fred Phelps

A requiem on the death of Fred Phelps

Thursday, March 20, 2014
Fred Phelps is dead. Many will celebrate, and many will make comments about picketing his funeral in an eye-for-an-eye retaliation. I will not be among them. I do not respect Fred Phelps, nor do I forgive the pain he inflicted, but I value him. I value what he contributed to the struggle for LGBT equality. I am grateful that because of his presence, millions woke up to understand homophobia better and to confront it... [ Read more → ]
Charlie Riedel, APThe Rev. Fred Phelps Sr. preaches at his Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., in March 2006. Phelps, the founder of the Kansas church known for anti-gay protests and pickets at military funerals, died Thursday, March 20, 2014. He was 84.

Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps dead at 84

Thursday, March 20, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Anti-gay extremist Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church and the “Gods Hate Fags” fundamentalist movement, has died, according to his son, Timothy Phelps. He was 84. [ Read more → ]

Westboro ‘elders’ ex-communicated Fred Phelps in church power struggle

Monday, March 17, 2014
The Westboro Baptist Church on Sunday responded to media inquiries regarding news reports that founder Fred Phelps was on his death bed, and that he was "ex-communicated" from the church last August. [ Read more → ]
Fred Phelps

Fred Phelps may be dying, but the LGBT community should let him go quietly

Sunday, March 16, 2014
A few years ago I asked Judy Shepard how she felt about Fred Phelps, the founder of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church which had picketed the funeral of her son Matthew in what was to become the seminal event that put Westboro into the national spotlight. Her answer surprised me. “Oh we love Freddy,” she replied. “If it wasn’t for him there would be no Matthew Shepard.” Judy’s answer to my question illustrates the truth about Fred Phelps... [ Read more → ]

Report: Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist Church, near death

Saturday, March 15, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. — Anti-gay extremist Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church and the “Gods Hate Fags” fundamentalist movement, is near death in a local hospice, according to a Facebook post Saturday night by his son Nathan Phelps. [ Read more → ]

Judge upholds Mo. law limiting time, distance of funeral protests

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A federal judge has upheld a Missouri law requiring protesters to stay at least a football-field length away from funeral sites, beginning an hour before they start until an hour after the services end. [ Read more → ]
Kansas state capitol in Topeka.

Kansas delays further action on religious freedom protections until next year

Thursday, March 6, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Kansas lawmakers will not consider enacting new legal protections this year for those who oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds, but will debate the issue again in 2015, the state Senate's top leader said Thursday. [ Read more → ]

Kansas reopens debate on religious freedom for those opposed to gay unions

Thursday, March 6, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Legislators are reopening a debate on whether Kansas should enact special legal protections for people, groups and businesses opposing same-sex marriage for religious reasons. [ Read more → ]
John Hanna, APIn this Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 photo, Tom Witt, executive director of Equality Kansas urges a crowd to work for the election defeat of socially conservative legislators during a rally at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, Kan.

Gay rights supporters in Kansas seek new anti-bias laws

Sunday, March 2, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Having won a key legislative fight with social conservatives in Kansas, gay rights advocates aren't content with simply blocking a measure they said would have encouraged businesses and government workers to refuse to serve gays and lesbians in the name of religious freedom. [ Read more → ]
Alex Brandon, AP

Religious freedom bills: The latest effort to counter advances in marriage equality

Friday, February 28, 2014
WASHINGTON – Religious freedom bills in more than a dozen state legislatures this year mark the latest effort by opponents of same-sex marriage to counter the growing public acceptance of marriage equality, and the momentum of federal court rulings striking down state gay marriage bans. [ Read more → ]
Kansas Statehouse in Topeka.

Kansas tea party group renews push for anti-gay ‘religious freedom’ bill

Sunday, February 23, 2014
WICHITA, Kan. — A Wichita, Kan.-based tea party group has launched an email campaign urging its members to pepper state lawmakers with messages in support of a bill that allows service refusal to same-sex couples on religious grounds. [ Read more → ]

Kansas state Senator declares gay discrimination bill is dead

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. -- An anti-gay marriage proposal that roiled Kansas politics is dead, the chairman of a state Senate committee assigned to review it said Tuesday. [ Read more → ]
Sen. Susan Wagle (R-Wichita), president of the Kansas Senate.

Kan. senate leader: Bill allowing religious discrimination against gays won’t pass

Friday, February 14, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. -- The president of the Kansas Senate says her chamber is unlikely to pass a bill that would prevent lawsuits against someone who refuses, for religious reasons, to provide services to gay and lesbians. [ Read more → ]

Kan. House OKs bill allowing religious discrimination against gay couples

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas House is preparing to take final action on a bill intended to keep individuals, groups and businesses from being compelled to provide services for same-sex ceremonies. [ Read more → ]
Kansas Statehouse in Topeka.

Kan. House gives initial OK on bill to allow discrimination against gay couples

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Kansas House members have given first-round approval to a bill aimed at protecting people, groups and businesses that cite religious reasons for refusing to provide goods or services for gay weddings. [ Read more → ]
Kansas Statehouse in Topeka.

Kan. House panel approves bill allowing discrimination based on religious beliefs

Thursday, February 6, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. -- A Kansas House committee on Wednesday will debate legislation aimed at protecting individuals, groups and businesses that refuse for religious reasons to recognize same-sex unions or provide benefits to gay couples. [ Read more → ]

Analysis: Marriage shift has religious conservatives in Kansas scrambling

Sunday, February 2, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Religious conservatives in Kansas fear that the legal wall they built against same-sex marriage will soon tumble, and they're looking for legislators to help them dig a new line of defense in resisting a growing American acceptance of same-sex relationships. A... [ Read more → ]

Gay rights group seeks repeal of Kan. same-sex marriage ban

Friday, January 31, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. — The leading gay rights advocacy group in Kansas is asking legislators to repeal a state law and a provision in the state constitution that both ban same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]

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

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
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. [ Read more → ]
Kansas Statehouse in Topeka.

Kan. lawmakers to consider bill allowing discrimination based on religious beliefs

Sunday, January 26, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. -- With the legal climate uncertain for states banning gay marriage, Kansas lawmakers are considering a proposal designed to allow individuals, groups and businesses to refuse to recognize or provide goods, services or benefits to gay couples based on their religious beliefs. [ Read more → ]
William Marotta

Kan. judge rules lesbian couple’s sperm donor owes child support

Thursday, January 23, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. — A man who provided sperm to a lesbian couple in response to an online ad is the father of a child born to one of the women and must pay child support, a Kansas judge ruled Wednesday. [ Read more → ]
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