To the editor:
Does “religious freedom” mean freedom to discriminate? Should we legalize discrimination against anyone? Should our religious leaders determine, on the basis of their claims of “freedom of religion,” who in our society merits “equal rights”?
State Rep. Jan Paul of Hutchinson is opposed to equal rights for people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. She co-authored the constitutional amendment barring same-gender marriages in Kansas and she led the opposition to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Kansas nondiscrimination statutes.
Now Paul is at the center of a proposal to nullify local nondiscrimination ordinances on the basis of “freedom of religion.” (See the Feb. 21 Journal-World, “Lawrence Ordinance …”)
Thousands of Kansans are LGBT. Tens of thousands family members, loved ones and friends in Kansas are committed to the proposition that “equal rights” must include people who are LGBT.
Paul’s use of “freedom of religion” is a ruse for legalizing discrimination against people who are gay! She is calling on the Legislature to deny equal rights for people in Kansas who are LGBT. We cast our lot with those who insist that people who are LGBT deserve the same equal rights the rest of us enjoy!