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Kansas Senate Republicans block bill that would have legalized religious discrimination

A controversial bill that would have allowed religious people to refuse to serve same-sex couples in Kansas has been blocked after even Republican state senators found it to be too extreme
Senator Susan Wagle
Photo by Eric Montgomery

A Kansas state bill allowing religious people to legally discriminate against same-sex couples has been blocked by Republican state senators after they found it to be too extreme.

Under the bill any business owned by a religious person or government employee who was religious would have been able to refuse goods and services to same-sex couples.

The bill was passed by the state House of Representatives but has now been blocked in the senate where Republicans hold a 32 to 8 majority.

Senate Republicans said that allowing government employees to legally discriminate in their duties went too far and that the bill would have to be amended before they could even consider passing it.

Businesses in Kansas can already legally discriminate against anyone they want to as the state has no anti-discrimination laws.

‘I believe that when you hire police officers or a fireman that they have no choice in who they serve. They serve anyone who’s vulnerable, any age, any race, any sexual orientation, Republican Senate President Susan Wagle told the Wichita Eagle on Friday.

‘Public service needs to remain public service for the entire public.

‘[This bill] actually overturns our current laws that represent at-will employment, in that an employer can hire and fire any individual for any reason. The business community is just tremendously concerned about how this will affect the employer-employee relationship.’

LGBTI rights group Equality Kansas welcomed Wagle’s comments and responded with a statement of their own.

‘We are glad Senate President Wagle agrees that certain provisions of HB2483 promote discrimination,’ the group said.

‘Equality Kansas proposed amendments in the House that we believe would have made the bill more acceptable, and if the Senate chooses to move forward with hearings, we look forward to working with them to draft language that will protect the religious liberties of all Kansans, while at the same time ensuring the dignity of gay and lesbian couples across the state.’

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#WELLDUH Stupid GAY APARTHEID 'bill has been blocked by REPUBLICAN state senators and GOV after they found it to be too extreme' ….and were loudly told so by their phones ringing off the HOOK all day. ..and NOW all those constituent callers know and will remember their REPS PHONE # and name! You Betcha!

This should be a "Wake up Call" for those living in Kansas! To think that members of your House/Senate could speak for each and everyone of YOU as it pertains how the people of this state are to conduct themselves as it pertains to: what type of people can live their! Who you can basically associate without fear of retaliation! Who you can serve, give residence to, who can go possibly hungry due to the type of individual you are...based solely on who You' go to bed with! Cause in the end....that is actually what it boils down too! Being with the same sex person! And to top it off...TO USE GOD as their reason! Shameful...!!!! "Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone" I'm sure every person that sits on your House/Senate is Guilty of something! It is time for both Straight and a Gay/Lesbian/Transgender...old and young, every nationality, run to the polls and start electing PEOPLE that truly care for the well being of ALL it's citizens of this State! Not just some!!! Cause' surely if this would have come into law! Can you imagine the power your House/Senate would have felt! And what they thought/think that they could have done next! Who knows, ban people who believe in Buddhism, or because your African American, Latino American, Polish American, not allowed to be served, get goods, not being able to get house accommodations! Trust Me... It could be a real thing, if they would have had their way... So think time prior to electing your representative in your districts. It could be a matter of Life/Liberty/or Death...!!!!