News (USA)

Kansas is getting LGBTQ protections because elections have consequences

Laura Kelly in front of a green background
Photo: Laura Kelly campaign website

Kansas governor-elect Laura Kelly (D) will sign an executive order protecting LGBTQ state employees from discrimination once she assumes office.

On Tuesday, Kelly, a former state senator, defeated Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R).

Yesterday, she affirmed that she would sign the order that the outgoing governor, Sam Brownback (R), rescinded.

“I am planning to actually have an executive order drafted before I take office,” she said.

Related: Kansas governor will sign law making it legal to ban gays & lesbians from adopting

The order was originally put in place by former governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) in 2007. It banned harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

But in 2015, Brownback took away the protections, arguing that legalizing discrimination against LGBTQ state employees ensures that state employees “enjoy the same civil rights” as everyone else in the state, since Kansas doesn’t have a law that bans anti-LGBTQ discrimination in the private sector.

LGBTQ organizations lauded the measure.

“We’re quite pleased she’s keeping her campaign promise and we’re not surprised,” said Equality Kansas director Tom Witt.

The Christian conservative organization Family Policy Alliance of Kansas’s response was measured, calling her “an enemy of life, family and religious freedom.”

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