Kansas Bill Allowing Businesses to Snub Gay Couples is ‘Dead’

Lawmaker says the bill wasn't 'narrowly focused' enough

  • Share
  • Read Later

Controversial legislation in Kansas that would allow both private-sector and government employees to refuse service to same-sex couples if it would be “contrary to sincerely held religious beliefs” is now “dead,” a top lawmaker said Tuesday.

“We will not be considering this bill,” said state Sen. Jeff King, the Republican chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “We are certainly strong proponents of religious liberties, but we have grave concerns about the language of [the bill].” Any measure that addresses religious liberty, King said, needs “to have a razor-sharp focus to protect religious liberties without discriminating against any group whatsoever. … I would rather have a bill that is very narrowly focused on protecting religious liberties, so it can put any question of a negative effect to rest.

“It’s dead,” King added.

King’s comments effectively kill, at least for now, a bill passed by the state House last week. Critics of the bill, which would have protected those who refused service from lawsuits, worried that it allowed for discrimination not just against same-sex couples but possibly gay and lesbian individuals. Though much of the discussion in House hearings was in the context of providing a service related to a same-sex wedding—like baking a cake for the reception or being the clerk who signed a marriage license—the language explicitly allowed for private or public employees to refuse adoption service, employment benefits or to otherwise treat any marriage they opposed for religious reasons “as valid.”

Civil liberties and gay rights groups have been outspoken about what they called the dangers of the bill and its potential to allow for open discrimination against people based on sexual orientation. Like almost 30 other states, Kansas does not have a law on the books explicitly protecting individuals from discrimination based on their sexual orientation.

When asked whether Kansas should have such a law, King said that “I don’t have any comment on that. That’s not any of the issues that were addressed here.” King said the legislature will hold hearings to examine if current state laws promoting religious liberty lack any necessary protections.

8 comments
wrp136
wrp136

Great news......Now the Kansas Legislature can turn its' attention to the next piece of Christian legislation now pending.....allowing their children to be beaten more severely by teachers and other "supervisory personnel"!

StanleyJames
StanleyJames

Dont worry the hrorid bill will be revived in the state which also is home to the nut jobs of the fred phelps family, in topeka

steveham13
steveham13

refuse service to a black...or a muslim...or a woman...or a handicapped person...or a redhead...and see how that works for you.  this is totally bizarre.  these stories aren't even news stories any more.  just allow same sex marriage throughout the country...giving everyone equal rights...not special rights...and don't force anyone to marry someone of the same sex...and move on...please. 

jeffrey.sill
jeffrey.sill

Fine, slippery slope argument in the name of responsible legislating.  I guess you can ignore the fact that it is coming from a person spearheading legislation that specifically permits discrimination in the name of not discriminating?



JoshWeinstein
JoshWeinstein

These laws are written broadly on purpose, so that they may be expanded to include all sorts of things that were not originally intended. 


I remember there was concern in Michigan, over the state constitutional amendment to limit marriage to opposite sex couples only. Opponents were worried that the language of the amendment would end up being used to deny insurance benefits to gay couples, not only by government agencies but also potentially by private employers.


The supporters of the amendment constantly said that insurance was not an issue, that the only thing they were trying to accomplish was to ensure that marriage would not be re-defined.


And what was the FIRST THING they did when the amendment passed? Why, they SUED to stop the insurance benefits, of course! 

StanleyJames
StanleyJames

And lets be careful.  what seems to have stalled the bill is the enormous outcry against it


They could bring it back as part of a much larger unrelated bill, after the media has lost interest.


this is a common trick eg  the Cardinal George of   Chicago called hte gay pride parade a KKK event. It was an attempt to create hatred of gays in the conservative religious black community


Later he appolgized and few saw the appolgoy


I fixeed that lurid person - found out that he had hid molesters. MY supreme court qualified sister in laws husband found from sealed records that he also tried to get convicted moelester priests sentences reduced


We needed 5 more votes to get through the IL house.  We got 6   I prob contributed to the success  I blogged that George crap all over the state


BTW the catholic church hated the jews for a milenia forming the foundation for hitlers electon and the holocaust.


Here they were tryng to create hatred of gays.  Standard operatng practice?

StanleyJames
StanleyJames

@steveham13 lets reemeber ths is mostly due to the evangelicals - the new name of the southern baptists - the religion of the confederacy


BTW the southern baptists are a spin off of the dutch "reformed church", which created apartheid in south africa.

StanleyJames
StanleyJames

@JoshWeinstein Interesting how they talk about redefnng marriage>  Marriage is the recognition of two loving couples who agree to take care of each other and btw there has never been any law that couples must be able to or have to etc have children.


we didnt re-definee marriage,  we expanded access to it as we did for african americans in 1867, inter-racial couples in 1967,


also  non xtians in MD (possibly other states) in 1864.  Before 1864 in MD only a christian minister could do a marriage ceremony


AS for the anti  gay people now and their religious history,  I was married in 1967.  the year scotus trashed the last 16 of once 41 sttates with miscengenation laws.  Then the CONSERVATIVES WERE SCREECHING THAT THEY COULD NO LONGER PROTECT THE SANCTITY OF THE WHITE RACE