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Archive for Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Kansas House approves allowing businesses to deny service to same-sex couples

February 12, 2014

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House Bill 2453 ( .PDF )

— The Kansas House on Wednesday approved a bill that says people can cite religious beliefs to deny to same-sex couples goods, services, accommodations or employment benefits.

House Bill 2453 was approved 72-49 and will now go to the Senate for consideration.

The Douglas County delegation, three Democrats and one Republican, voted against the bill.

Supporters of the measure said it would protect from lawsuits and government action individuals who refuse to provide services to same-sex couples because they believe homosexuality is morally wrong.

They said these peoples’ religious rights are being trampled by recent court decisions striking down other states’ bans on same-sex marriages.

“It’s just a protective measure to ensure the religious liberties we already have will stay in place the same no matter what happens in the future,” said Rep. Charles Macheers, R-Overland Park.

Gay-rights advocates said the bill would allow widespread discrimination against gays and lesbians that would be equivalent to the days when blacks or inter-racial couples were denied equal treatment.

During final action on the bill, several legislators read statements opposed to the bill.

“It is my deeply held, sincere religious beliefs that the commandment to love one another is contradicted by this legislation. This bill expressly permits discrimination against my neighbor in the name of religious freedom,” said state Rep. Sydney Carlin, D-Manhattan.

Support for the bill came almost entirely from Republicans, with only one Democrat, state Rep. Jan Pauls of Hutchinson, voting for it.

On Tuesday, House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, who is running for governor, issued a statement criticizing the bill, saying it has nothing to do with problems facing the state, such as school cuts, lagging job creation, and increasing property taxes.

“Every day we spend on issues like this is one day less this Legislature and governor has to tackle the real, growing crises at hand,” Davis said.

Equality Kansas, the state’s leading gay-rights advocacy organization, criticized Davis for not addressing the substance of the bill.

“It’s unfortunate that discrimination against LGBT Kansans is seen as a distraction for the Democratic leadership, rather than a call to action,” said Sandra Meade, state chair of Equality Kansas.

Meade said the bill would treat legal marriages as invalid. “HB 2453 is a blatant attempt to maintain second class citizen status for tax paying gay and lesbian Kansans,” she said.

Comments

Richard Heckler 2 months ago

There is no rewriting of this ignorant homophobic legislation. It goes in the trash.

Remember this is the same party and leadership that consistently supports tax cuts for the Kansas 1% and votes against public education. Yes that is Susan Wagle absolutely!

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Richard Heckler 2 months ago

If people in Kansas do not know by what their state GOP represents they never will. Which begs the question why vote GOP ever again? The majority of the GOP is controlled by ALEC.

The very few actual GOP that ALEC has yet to replace could suffer at the voting booths if Kansas wised up and quit voting GOP blindly.

Frankly ALEC does not support the GOP,Democrats or Women and the state of Kansas CANNOT afford ALEC.

John Birch Society Celebrates Koch Family For Their Role In Founding The Hate Group http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/06/10/242334/john-birch-society-celebrates-koch/

United States of ALEC http://www.democracynow.org/2012/9/27/the_united_states_of_alec_bill

ALEC – The Voice of Corporate Special Interests in State Legislatures http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/alec-the-voice-of-corporate-special-interests-state-legislatures

ALEX EXPOSED – The Koch Connection http://www.thenation.com/article/161973/alec-exposed-koch-connection

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Richard Heckler 2 months ago

"The Kansas House on Wednesday approved a bill that says people can cite religious beliefs to deny to same-sex couples goods, services, accommodations or employment benefits."

How will same sex couples be determined? Does Sam ALEC Brownback and the ALEC legislature have guidelines?

This legislation is backed by ignorance.

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Paul R Getto 2 months ago

Look up this word: Tergiversation. Explains it all.

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Kat Ordway 2 months ago

How do you know that a couple of same sex involved in a marriage ceremony is homosexual any more than you can tell that a couple of opposite sex involved in a marriage ceremony is heterosexual unless you can look into their heart, mind, and soul. Discrimination at it's finest Kansas. For the first time in my life, I am ashamed to say I was born and raised here. Marriage is nothing more than a legally binding agreement, unless it's blessed in a church. I was raised Catholic so that's what I know but I know that a marriage will not be performed in the church if the couple is not in compliance with the Catholic church. I'm sure other religions are not that different so to make a law of this nature has nothing to do with religious beliefs and this pretence is false. If someone is in the business to perform weddings, I guess they will have to change, as businesses to when the laws change, just like every other business has to, or go out of business. If it's not a church, it's a BUSINESS. Hence, separation of church and state.

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Chris Golledge 2 months ago

"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no individual or religious entity shall be required by any governmental entity to do any of the following, if it would be contrary to the sincerely held religious beliefs..."

Let's bring this point to the front. This bill specifically says that, even if would otherwise be illegal, a person's religious beliefs would make certain acts legal. In other words, religious beliefs trump law. Is there anyone who really thinks this is a good idea?

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 months ago

Ah yes, the Koch Regime Kansas Government is foremost in advocating prejudice and bigotry in the state of Bleeding Kansas. I sincerely hope that some court will quickly void yet another facist law that our addled legislators have cobbled up.

0

Keith Richards 2 months ago

"refuse to provide services to same-sex couples because they believe homosexuality is morally wrong." Do these religious owners believe that adultery is morally wrong? Do they believe lying is morally wrong? Do they believe stealing is morally wrong? I am completely shocked these imbeciles would pass this bill. Any person who truly knows God knows it is not man's job to judge and condemn others, that is God's job. Why? Because we are ALL sinners in God's eyes. So even if you believe in God, this bill is not acceptable in God's eyes. And if you do not believe in God, this bill is wrong because it is homophobic hate mongering.

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Wayne Kerr 2 months, 1 week ago

I'm not sure what problem this legislation was trying to solve. Do our representatives have some financial interesting in selling more "Kansas as bigoted as you think" bumper stickers?

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Bruce Bertsch 2 months, 1 week ago

Wouldn't it be easier to just have homosexuals wear a rainbow star, the Jews a yellow star, Muslims a crescent, and atheists and agnostics could have a different colored "A". Oh wait, its been done already.

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Frank McGuinness 2 months, 1 week ago

I can understand some peoples frustration with Paul Davis comments regarding this bill but keep in mind this is Kansas and he is currently running for Governor in a HYPER conservative state. If you are at all familiar with Kansas Politics you will understand the line he is treading.

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Chris Bohling 2 months, 1 week ago

Other groups I have a religious right to refuse include Muslims, people wearing 40%/60% acrylic pants, people with too many chromosomes, people whose eyes are two different colors, Mizzou fans, people wearing rhinestones, French people, anyone over the age of 77, people who don't think jasmine tea is the best tea, members of the House of Representatives, optometrists, Mormons, and anyone who has touched an eggroll in the past 13 1/2 hours.

I can provide relevant scriptural passages from my holy book upon request!

3

Lane Signal 2 months, 1 week ago

I'm not trying to minimize this issue. It's an awful, hateful, bigoted act on the part of the Kansas House. It's wrong and horrible and is of huge impact to our state. But what's behind this insidiously stupid action? I say this is primarily a distraction. The real point here is to take our minds off of the tax cuts for the rich and the continued policies of cutting funding for the poor and effectively raising taxes on the poor and middle class while giving all the money to the rich and corporations. The House is trying to be so crude and stupid with this action so we will forget that they are stealing all the money. That's the only reasonable explanation. (Perhaps "reasonable" is not the right word). I point this out, not to make light of the issue, nor to discourage those who would speak against it. I just think the idiots in the State House are not motivated here by conviction (maybe a few are genuinely stupid enough to believe homophobia is a matter of principle). Most of these far right cronies of Brownie are towing the party line even though they realize they are marginalizing a whole class of people for no morally defensible reason. I think that somehow makes it all the more evil.

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Chili Daawg 2 months, 1 week ago

This law is a clear violation of the establishment clause. It will be struck down the first time someone sues the state over it.

4

Larry Sturm 2 months, 1 week ago

This has nothing to do with religious freedom it is all about discriminating.

6

Jake Angermeier 2 months, 1 week ago

While they're at it, let's get separate drinking fountains for 'em.

4

Chris Golledge 2 months, 1 week ago

Is it not self-evident that the state has an obligation to protect the rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of people from being infringed by other people? This bill would make it legal for people to withhold food, living quarters, and other services necessary for these basic rights, solely on the basis of religious beliefs. (How would you distinguish a religious belief from any other belief?)

This has been tried before and it has been struck down before. Both Davis and Meade are correct; this bill is both a waste of time and morally reprehensible.

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Mike Ford 2 months, 1 week ago

I thought we were in the 21st Century, Oh wait this is Kansas, the land of going back 150 years. It;s .Time for those who know where this is going on to Boycott these places.

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Brock Masters 2 months, 1 week ago

No one has a right to do business with someone else.

Good bill.

3

Rick Masters 2 months, 1 week ago

"I'm sorry, sir, but I cannot bring you any unleavened bread." "But your ads say 'Unlimited Breadsticks.'" "I said that I was sorry, sir."

2

Melinda Henderson 2 months, 1 week ago

Wow. Hate disguised as discrimination disguised as legislation.

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Larry Sturm 2 months, 1 week ago

Discrimination was thrown out in the Martin Luther King Jr. civil rights movement in the early 60s.BROWNBACK AND THE REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE ARE BAD FOR KANSAS.

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Terry Lee 2 months, 1 week ago

"YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN!!"

2

Cathy Tarr 2 months, 1 week ago

I can't believe that our state is this backwards! It is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Our state government is a laughing stock. In one breath they are putting down a KU professor for his statement on the NRA and the next trying to make discrimination law. With Brownback and these idiots in charge this state is headed back to the stone age.

4

Steve Jacob 2 months, 1 week ago

That was a pretty weak statement by Paul Davis. I guess I don't understand how people who believe in the Bible and God thinks it's OK to deny services to a gay person.

0

James Howlette 2 months, 1 week ago

There are still religions that believe it's wrong for interracial couples to marry. Does that mean they should be able to cite those beliefs and deny someone housing, services or jobs?

Let's face facts. Haters gonna hate. Discrimination will still exist. But that doesn't mean we need to throw down a welcome mat and make it ok and legally protected for them to say, "We don't serve your kind here."

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Chris Bohling 2 months, 1 week ago

I practice a branch of Christianity that believes that brown-haired people are the spawn of Satan. In accordance with my religious freedom as outlined by this bill, I will no longer provide service to brown-haired people at my place of employment.

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Ricci Moyer 2 months, 1 week ago

All I have to say is that if I am out somewhere and this happens it will be the last time I go to that establishment. Even if I hear about a place that does this. This is a joke.

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Phillip Chappuie 2 months, 1 week ago

I wonder if the lawsuits will hit before or after Brownback signs this piece of hate mongering trash. Does anyone know where one can go to see how they voted before the Journal comes out? I will be so very disappointed in my Rep if he has faltered and supported this crap. How much money will it cost the taxpayers in the long run before it is overturned in the courts? Stupid is as stupid does.

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