Advertisement

Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

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

February 12, 2014

Advertisement

Related document

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

Phillip Chappuie 10 months, 2 weeks 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.

Ricci Moyer 10 months, 2 weeks 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.

Ricci Moyer 10 months, 2 weeks ago

let them deny jobs....that is discrimination and not allowed by federal law

Thomas Bryce 10 months, 2 weeks ago

If you find an establishment where this happens, just turn it over to "Social Media." That is YOUR right as a citizen.

Thomas Bryce 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Then, sit back and watch as the Establishment owner claims THEY are being unfairly Targeted. ROFLMAO! This ought to be good!

Brett McCabe 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Ricci, this is the way things get done. For reference, here is a short-list registry: Papa John's, Hobby Lobby, Chik Fillet (sp), Menard's. Let's make a list, check it twice and a voice those people who simply can't be nice.

Ricci Moyer 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Well..i don't go to those places anyway and now have an even better reason not to.

Chris Bohling 10 months, 2 weeks 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.

James Howlette 10 months, 2 weeks 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."

Steve Jacob 10 months, 2 weeks 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.

Seth Amott 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I do forgive him a bit. I think he has quite a lot more to say about it but this guy is also trying to get elected in a very red state, he is walking a pretty tight line. He already has the "Stop Brownback" votes, he needs to be careful. The majority of Kansans probably support what this bill "claims" to be, without understanding what it really means. Get him elected and we can start taking care of the damage.

Stuart Evans 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Why do we need to keep electing people under false pretenses? Why don't these politicians grow some spines, say what they mean, do what they say, and we can all get on with living a more realistic life. The era of old-time religious ideology is fading fast; I'd rather vote for someone with some cajones, than one who panders to insanity.

Cathy Tarr 10 months, 2 weeks 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.

Larry Sturm 10 months, 2 weeks 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.

Melinda Henderson 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Wow. Hate disguised as discrimination disguised as legislation.

Rick Masters 10 months, 2 weeks 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."

Rick Masters 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Leavened bread. Oh well. hangs head in internet shame

Fred Mertz 10 months, 2 weeks ago

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

Good bill.

Seth Peterson 10 months, 2 weeks ago

More accurately - everyone has the right to not be discriminated against.

Fred Mertz 10 months, 2 weeks ago

And yet people are legally discriminated against every day. If it is a right not be be discriminated against then how does the government and businesses get away with it?

Seth Peterson 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Everyone has the right not to be murdered, and yet people are legally murdered every day; how does the government and businesses get away with it?

Just because something happens, doesn't mean it is not a right or that it okay.

This seems to be a common tactic for you, asking inane questions in response to something either you do not understand, or to try not to actually say anything because you know how it will sound when spoken out loud and you try to find a way to infer it (badly).

Fred Mertz 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Seth please provide me an example where people are legally murdered everyday by the government. Murder by definition is an illegal act so I don't see how you'll be able to back up your statement but hey, take a shot at it.

Seth if you don't like my posts then pass right by them. No none compels you to read them or respond to them. Your obsession with me seems a little strange considering you think my questions are inane.

Can't wait to find out how the government legally murders everyday. Lol

Seth Peterson 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Only if you are an absolute literalist do you believe murder is inherently illegal. It also means you probably miss a lot of things in life and why you have a hard time understanding what is going on in relation to this proposal.

Several parts of our government still institute a death penalty, our soldiers (all government employees) routinely commit murder on foreign soil with the support and protection of our government, our government provides protections for corporations which have been the cause of death of hundreds of thousands of individuals through starvation, restricting water access, denial of medical supplies when needed, or good old-fashioned strong arm slaughter.

Again as a literalist you could say that our government is merely and 'accessory' to murder, or that some of these killings are not murder because they were legal kills according to OUR government, rather than the government of the country they happen to be in.

If you couldn't wait to find this information out, you could have taken a few moments to do a little research and learn about it yourself, but I'm going to assume this is another dishonest statement from you as you probably will refuse to learn from this information and will continue to repeat yourself.

I would pass by your posts, it is the duty of those who are members of any community to point out with other members are dishonest or distribute misinformation on a regular basis and expect to be taken seriously. If someone attempts to take a platform to offer an opinion as an (incorrect) fact, it is the responsibility of those who hear the opinion and share the platform to correct such statements.

Now, while you have managed to use yet another attempt at distraction from the actual discussion, and failed to answer a question posed directly you, you have at least shown you cannot be taken seriously.

The point still remains - people have the right not to be discriminated against.

Brett McCabe 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Far, far more important than rights are responsibilities. The first one...be a human being.

Mike Ford 10 months, 2 weeks 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.

Chris Golledge 10 months, 2 weeks 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.

Fred Mertz 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes the state has to protect the rights of people from being infringed by other people but you are confused as to what that means. I cannot steal from you, I cannot harass you and I cannot murder you but I have no obligation as an individual nor do you have a right for me to provide for your liberty, life or happiness. You're on your own.

You have no right for me to sell you goods or to provide services to you. You have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit to happiness but these while these rights are not to be infringed they are not required to be provide by individuals. The government perhaps, but not by individuals.

Good bill. I hope it passes the Senate.

Chris Golledge 10 months, 2 weeks ago

So, in your world, it is not OK for a group of people to shoot someone, but it is OK for them to withhold food that person would otherwise be able to purchase the same as everyone else. Is a person who starves to death any less dead than a person who is shot? Under this bill, the group that refused to sell the food would be held blameless.

What if all land owners in a community decide that they don't want to do business with a mixed race married couple, and the couple ends up homeless, even though they could afford to pay the same price as everyone else for lodging. Would you say that their rights have not been infringed?

Fred Mertz 10 months, 2 weeks ago

What if what if....we can what if anything to death.

Individuals have no responsibility for your life. The government does, but not individuals.

I see someone going to shoot you I can walk right on by, but a policeman has the responsibility to try and stop your murder.

Quit feeling entitled. You're not.

As for your what if, Chris who is a smart businessman will step in and provide food and services to those denied by the ignorant bigots.

Chris Golledge 10 months, 2 weeks ago

That last was a yes-or-no question. Can you give an answer?

Seth Peterson 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes, we can do what-if to death, but you'll only do it so long as it's once and it gets to benefit you in a conversation.

Seth Peterson 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Students who are the least informed and have the hardest time learning benefit the most from additional attention from teachers or those who can help. So many of my posts wouldn't be in responses to yours if they weren't all so filled with misinformation and ignorance, or if you learned from people when they speak to you.

Chris Golledge 10 months, 2 weeks ago

It's a simple principle. In matters that only affect you, you are free to be as prejudiced as you like, but in matters of business that affect others, your discrimination puts others at a disadvantage that is bad for the market and worse for the affected people.

Chris Bohling 10 months, 2 weeks ago

100% agreed, one person's right to avoid people who don't have the same lifestyle that they do clearly trumps another person's right to get what they need to survive.

Unfortunately, my holy book states quite clearly that people named Brock are living in sin and are unclean; therefore you are not welcome in my establishment.

Fred Mertz 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I am okay with it. I won't patronize your establishment. Others will be happy to have my business.

Seth Peterson 10 months, 2 weeks ago

At least until you find out that 90% of all businesses also follow his book.

Bryan Moore 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Brock - What if there is no other business to patronize? Maybe I'm confused but is this like Obamacare were the businesses are split by employee number? Mom and pops can discriminate but not if you have over 50 employees? If not, can a privately held power company say it won't provide power to the homes or businesses of gay people even though there is no other power company from which to buy power? I guess they could always go out and buy a generator, that is if the gas station will sell them anything to put in it. What about a privately held water company? Can the water company say we will provide water to a dance club but not a gay bar? Can they refuse the dance club if they feel dancing is against their religion? Can the only gas station, store, or diner within 100 miles refuse service because someone looks a little too light in their loafers? Do they have to have proof of gayness or is wearing a pink shirt enough to prove a guy is gay? If no proof of being gay is needed then isn't it just an I don't like the way they look law. What distance does it become an unreasonable distance to travel to find the "others". I see how your theory works in the middle of a large town or city but what about in sparsely populated areas of the state. If a lesbian gets a flat tire in Greely County is OK to discriminate because there is a tire shop in Douglas County that will fix her tire? How far should she have to walk to find a shop that is OK with her lifestyle? The ability for someone to come in and open a shop does not constitute access. Say I want to set up a tire place in Greely county to service that road weary lesbian is OK for the other businesses to not do business with me because I provide services to people they do not agree with? I don't think anyone could sustain a bussiness to cater only to the occasional gay or lesbian with car trouble in western Kansas?

Jake Angermeier 10 months, 2 weeks ago

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

Ricci Moyer 10 months, 2 weeks ago

And bathrooms too while we are at it...give me a break

Fred Mertz 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Don't we already have separate bathrooms based on gender which is a protected class?

Larry Sturm 10 months, 2 weeks ago

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

Chili Daawg 10 months, 2 weeks 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.

Chris Golledge 10 months, 2 weeks ago

It establishes that the same act which would be illegal if done for non-religious reasons will be legal if a person says their religion told them to do it.

Care to answer my question from earlier?

Fred Mertz 10 months, 2 weeks ago

That isn't what the establishment clause is about.

I answered your question. Just not the way you like.

Chris Golledge 10 months, 2 weeks ago

No, it is not really about that, but do you really want the US to start making laws based on religious beliefs?

I missed it; was that a 'yes' or a 'no'?

Fred Mertz 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I certainly don't want laws based on religious beliefs. This law isn't. It protects the free exercise of religion which I do support.

I like the law because it pushes back against the notion that the government has the authority to tell me who I have to associate with and do business with.

Chris Golledge 10 months, 2 weeks ago

"This law isn't. " By what contortion of logic do you believe that? It specifically states that acts, which would otherwise be illegal, would be legal dependent on the perpetrator's religious beliefs.

Fred Mertz 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Tell me what religious tenet corresponds to the law. There isn't one.

The first amendment protects religion but isn't based on religion. Same thing here.

Chris Golledge 10 months, 2 weeks ago

It says that any and all religious tenants regarding sex or gender supercede law. Are you saying that there are no such tenants?

Chris Golledge 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm going to need an answer to my question to continue this discussion. It is hard to argue with someone unwilling to define their position.

Lane Signal 10 months, 2 weeks 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.

Chris Bohling 10 months, 2 weeks 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!

Frank McGuinness 10 months, 2 weeks 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.

Fred Mertz 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Are you saying Paul was not genuine in his comments and was trying to cater to conservatives? Isn't that less than honest?

Chris Golledge 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm sorry, did you just say you expect all politicians to be entirely open with all their thoughts? Can you name any that ever have?

Fred Mertz 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Jimmy Carter was pretty honest. Many in the KS legislature. Marcie Fransico, Tom Sloan, maybe atom Holland too. New one there Dr. Gandhi.

Sorry I can't add Davis to the list now.

Chris Golledge 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I like Jimmy Carter and think he is a great person (not sure if he was the most effective president), but I think you are delusional if you think he did not keep some things close to his chest.

Fred Mertz 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Did you forget his I've lusted in my heart. Chris admit it you are wrong on this. There are some honest politicians.

Frank McGuinness 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I didn't say that at all, but you are welcome to infer what you like. I am stating that he is catering to the masses. If he was catering to conservatives he would have said something completely bombastic with no base in reality because that's what conservatives respond best to.

Lane Signal 10 months, 2 weeks ago

It's a pretty thin line. If Mr. Davis has to sell his soul to get elected, he will not make a good leader anyway. It reminds me of our President's stance on gay marriage. The President insisted for years he was against gay marriage until it finally became a political liability to try to defend that position. We need to make clear to Mr. Davis that if he is unwilling to take a stand when it really counts, then he's part of the problem and not the solution. I'm just as tired of liberals who pander to the radical right on matters as I am of "conservatives" who pander to the radical right. It's time to stop letting bigots and hate mongers set our policy.

Bruce Bertsch 10 months, 2 weeks 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.

Brett McCabe 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Bruce, I agree that a good labeling system would help society operate more efficiently. Without question, the last thing we need is for someone to think of someone else before they think of themselves.

For a party that supposedly abhors big government, they seem to be passing a lot of laws.

James Howlette 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I was thinking a window sticker on stores that planned to discriminate would be helpful. I do like to be an informed consumer.

Wayne Kerr 10 months, 2 weeks 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?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 10 months, 2 weeks 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.

Chris Golledge 10 months, 2 weeks 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?

Thomas Bryce 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Well, Besides the Kansas Discriminature, er, I mean Legislature...Oh..Maybe.. The Taliban?

Chris Golledge 10 months, 2 weeks ago

While I agree, there is a slight difference in that the Taliban would make their religious beliefs into law; this merely says that laws are unenforceable if a person says that they have religious beliefs which run against the laws.

Thomas Bryce 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Point taken. I was just going with the "Religious beliefs trump Law" statement. If given the chance, though, I believe the current Administration Would make their Religious beliefs into Law. They have tried many times already. The Constitution has prevailed so far, but they keep trying.

Kat Ordway 10 months, 2 weeks 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.

Richard Heckler 10 months, 2 weeks 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.

Richard Heckler 10 months, 1 week 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

Richard Heckler 10 months, 1 week 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!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.