Archive for Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hundreds protest ‘religious freedoms’ bill at Kansas Statehouse

February 16, 2014


People attending rally Sunday opposing House Bill 2453 form two lines to depict what they said the bill would have done.

People attending rally Sunday opposing House Bill 2453 form two lines to depict what they said the bill would have done.

— "Shock," "fear" and "embarrassment" were among the words protesters used Sunday to describe their reaction to legislation that would allow Kansans to cite religious beliefs to deny services to same-sex couples.

Related document

House Bill 2453 ( .PDF )

About 250 people attended a rally outside the Statehouse in Topeka to show their opposition to House Bill 2453, which was approved last week by the House but halted in the Senate.

"This is a time when we need to take a stand," said the Rev. Peter Luckey, senior pastor of the Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence.

Luckey said he couldn't believe the House would approve such legislation. He said people who disagree about whether same-sex marriages should be recognized "understand that discrimination is wrong" and called the bill hurtful and mean-spirited.

Supporters contend the bill, approved 72-49 by the House, is needed in case a federal court strikes down Kansas' constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, as has happened in other states.

Last week, Senate leaders put the brakes on the bill, saying it went beyond protecting religious beliefs and would have allowed businesses to refuse to serve gays and lesbians. A number of leading businesses and business groups also voiced opposition.

Although Senate GOP leaders said they wouldn't consider HB 2453, they said they would propose alternative legislation to protect religious beliefs.

During Sunday's protest, which was organized by the gay rights advocacy group Equality House of Topeka, participants formed two lines behind signs labeled "Second Class Citizens" and "Straight People." The lines went up the south steps of the Capitol.

"We don't judge others," said Dee Moore, of Topeka. "We think all are God's children."

Jeremy Morgan, also a Topeka resident, said when he first heard about the bill, it frightened him that he and his spouse, who were legally married in Iowa, could be denied services.

"We don't want to be humiliated. We want to be treated like everybody else," Morgan said.


Addie Line 2 months ago

Sidenote to the above comment, I have had the Walgreens on 6th refuse to fill my RX because none of the pharmacists felt my doctor should have prescribed it to me. Evidently in their state guidelines they are permitted to decline to fill any prescription if they don't "feel comfortable" filling it. I was pregnant at the time and my Dr. had decided the risks associated with taking the med were smaller than the problems I would encounter without the medication. So I guess my point there is despite there being seemingly no reason for a pharmacist to refuse a script that a doctor has signed off on and weighed the risks/benefits of, they can do so already for whatever reason they want. I would not support any law that gives them even more license to refuse services to someone that their well being relies on.

Additionally just because you can't see someone discriminating doesn't mean it won't happen.


Leslie Swearingen 2 months ago

I really don't think that words such as "goons","wingnut",yahoos", "redneck","hilariously stupid", contribute anything meaningful to the conversations that we should be having about this subject.

When I read a phrase such as "allow religious organizations and entities such as the Salvation Army to deny employment or services." I am perplexed because I see no reason why they should not do just that. The Salvation Army and churches are totally different than other places of employment and those who apply should be aware of that before they do so.

Now, I would expect a pharmacy to fill any prescription that is brought in because that is really none of the pharmacists business why the doctor prescribed it. I can't see a checker at a store refusing to check out someones purchases because they suspect their sexual orientation or overhead that they are of a different faith than they are.

All public services and that would include bakeries and caterers should be expected to abide by public law.


Clark Coan 2 months ago

The wingnuts aren't done yet. They'll craft a bill that will pass constitutional muster (Equal Protection Clause) and focus on same-sex marriages and weddings and also allow religious organizations and entities such as the Salvation Army to deny employment or services.


Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 months ago

Right on!! The rational people of Kansas have voiced ther opposition to predudice, hatered, and discrimination that the billionaire Koch Regime Kansas Government is trying to codify into law. Brother Righteous Bob and Sister Bertha Better-Than-You will not stop this assault on decency, fairness and civility because of their hide-bound devotion to human created "religion" that some feel gives freedom to behave like total jerks.. This is just not right,

Jesus said, I believe, that we should "love one another", ?????


William Enick 2 months ago

Think this through... if passed, those businesses that refuse service to same-sex couples would be out of the business in a matter of days when the word got out. The business would be boycotted. The LGBT'S could then buy the business. It's a WIN / WIN scenario... end of story... close your browser.


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