Archive for Thursday, March 19, 2009

Senate committee recommends bill banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

March 19, 2009, 10:57 a.m. Updated March 19, 2009, 12:10 p.m.

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— A Senate committee on Thursday advanced a bill that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but the legislation’s prospects of going further was up in the air.

“I have no idea,” state Sen. Pete Brungardt, R-Salina, and chair of the Federal and State Affairs Committee, said when asked if the measure would be considered by the full Senate. That decision will be made by Senate leaders.

The committee approved the bill, 5-3. Voting for it were Sens. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, Roger Reitz, R-Manhattan, Oletha Faust-Goudeau, D-Wichita, Tim Owens, R-Overland Park, and Brungardt. Voting against the bill were Sens. Dennis Pyle, R-Hiawatha, Ralph Ostemeyer, R-Grinnell, and Steve Abrams, R-Arkansas City.

The bill would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Kansas Act Against Discrimination. That act prohibits discrimination in public accommodations, employment and housing based on race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin or ancestry.

Members of the Kansas Equality Coalition, which has advocated for the legislation for several years, were pleased with the vote.

“Kansans should not have to live in fear that they might lose a job because of prejudice,” said Maggie Childs of Lawrence, chair of the KEC. “This bill is sorely needed by a small but vulnerable population,” she said.

Francisco noted that the legislation protects homosexuals and heterosexuals from discrimination because it addresses sexual orientation.

But Judy Smith, state director of Concerned Women for America, said she was disappointed in the vote and would continue to work against the bill.

“If we start establishing laws protecting so-called discrimination against inclinations, where does it stop?” Smith said.

She said she believes that homosexuality is a chosen behavior and that civil rights protections should be reserved for people with unchangeable characteristics, such as race, and those who are politically powerless and suffer economic deprivations.

“Homosexuals can’t prove that they are suffering those things,” she said.

Comments

grammaddy 6 years, 4 months ago

Judy Smith needs to pull her head out of her a$$.

spankyandcranky 6 years, 4 months ago

I really don't think people can choose who they're naturally attracted to. I'm glad they 'recommended' the bill. Now shouldn't they should pass it? Why does everything take so LONG?

d_prowess 6 years, 4 months ago

How many people really think that people get to chose their sexual orientation? It would be interesting to see the LJW put up one of its polls on that question.

HermioneElliott 6 years, 4 months ago

That would be be. At a certain age you are supposed to be able to control how you behave. I would not be at all comfortable with certain types and would not be friends with or associate with such. Using vulgarity is not going to change my mind, but will serve to solidify my position.

nekansan 6 years, 4 months ago

"she believes that homosexuality is a chosen behavior and that civil rights protections should be reserved for people with unchangeable characteristics, such as race" So this means that she believes there should be no protection for religious beliefs. Individuals most certainly have a choice when it comes to religion.

George_Braziller 6 years, 4 months ago

Judy is suffering from recto-cranial inversion. Sexual orientation includes heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual. She would be the first person screaming about the horrors of discrimination if a business owner who was gay fired an employee who was heterosexual just because they were.

Would you hear from her if it was the other way around? Nope.

RoeDapple 6 years, 4 months ago

grammaddy - Kinky, very kinky............

cmdln 6 years, 4 months ago

“If we start establishing laws protecting so-called discrimination against inclinations, where does it stop?” Smith said.

Religion is an inclination and it seems to be protected.

grammaddy 6 years, 4 months ago

Thank you RoeDapple. And I wasn't even trying!!

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 4 months ago

This type of legislation is unnecessary. There is no evidence that present law does not adequately protect all individuals. We should not add categories of protected classes that are reflective of chosen behavior such as homosexuality. Most Kansans oppose this attack on traditional family values and we should simply defeat this bill quickly.

RoeDapple 6 years, 4 months ago

kansanjayhawk (Anonymous) says… "Most Kansans oppose this attack on traditional family values and we should simply defeat this bill quickly."

Most Kansans think the earth is 6000 years old........

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Do I sense a little elitism there? Seems that some want democracy only on their own terms. By the way--what evidence do you have to support whatever age you think the earth is???-- you might find, it is a little more complicated that you are willing to admit!

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