It is now legal in Kansas for religious groups on college campuses to block LGBTI people from becoming members.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed SB 175, which passed the state legislature last week, into law during a special ceremony on Tuesday (22 March).
The law applies even to colleges and university that are funded by taxpayers.
Brownback called the campus religious groups building ‘blocks of society.’
‘At our founding, people coming to the United States came here seeking religious liberty,’ the governor also said at the signing. ‘I’m pleased to sign SB 175 today, the Campus Religious Freedom Bill, ensuring that college students can also enjoy this bedrock American principle.’
The Human Rights Campaign, the largest group in the US fighting for LGBTI rights, has blasted the bill.
‘Freedom of religion is a core American value, which is why it is already protected by the First Amendment,’ HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow said last week.
‘SB 175 won’t protect our freedom, but it will empower even more discrimination against tens of thousands of college students in Kansas. Not only that, but it will undermine the non-discrimination policies and protections already on the books at colleges and universities across the state.’