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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Kansas Republicans Decide Anti-Gay Bill Is “Discrimination,” Kill It

Posted by on Feb. 17, 2014 at 3:50 PM
  • 14 Replies
1 mom liked this

Phew. - MsD

(source)

Last week, the Kansas House of Representatives embarrassed itself by easily passing a bill that aimed to make gay people separate and not equal. In the name of protecting the religious sensibilities of private employers, stores, hotels, movie theaters, parks, pools—any public accommodation—the law allowed them to turn away gay couples and could even have applied to gay individuals. It was grotesque. I have been taking seriously the religious objections of nonprofit groups like Little Sisters of the Poor to the contraception mandate in Obamacare (though I think their claims should fall in the end, because the government has an excellent rationale—improving women’s health!—for requiring health insurers to cover birth control). But the Kansas bill was religious objection on crack. As Mark Joseph Stern wrote in Slate:

A catch-all clause allows businesses and bureaucrats to discriminate against gay people so long as this discrimination is somehow “related to, or related to the celebration of, any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement.” (Emphases mine.) In other words, in theory, simply being in a gay relationship with any kind of official status could lose you your job or get you kicked out of a restaurant. And if you sued over this and lost, you’d be stuck with the other side’s attorney’s fees.

I am pleased to report that the Republican-led Kansas Senate decided this would not fly. Senate President Susan Wagle said on Thursday that a majority of the state senators in her party would not vote for the bill. They support “traditional marriage,” Wagle noted, “however, my members also don’t condone discrimination.” Thank you for that line in the sand. It should be obvious, but somehow that was lost on the Kansas House.

Instead of passing, as everyone predicted, the Kansas anti-gay bill will now, in all likelihood, quietly die without hearings or a vote. I give credit to the hue and cry raised by Stern and other critics, and to the rapid pace of progress on gay rights. Even in the remaining pockets of backlash, conservatives can see that there are lengths to which they can no longer safely go. I’ve been thinking a lot about this quote from Adam Liptak’s New York Times piece on the series of federal court decisions striking down state gay marriage bans: “It is becoming increasingly clear to judges that if they rule against same-sex marriage their grandchildren will regard them as bigots,” Andrew M. Koppelman, a law professor at Northwestern, told Liptak. The legislators in Kansas who stopped short of passing this bill still think it’s OK to oppose same-sex marriage Nevertheless, though their definition of prejudice differs, the point stands: They don’t want to be seen as bigots, either. That’s how progress begins.

 

Emily Bazelon is a Slate senior editor and the Truman Capote Fellow at Yale Law School. She is the author of Sticks and Stones.

by on Feb. 17, 2014 at 3:50 PM
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Replies (1-10):
FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Feb. 17, 2014 at 6:53 PM
4 moms liked this


Quote:

 “It is becoming increasingly clear to judges that if they rule against same-sex marriage their grandchildren will regard them as bigots".

This quote, from the article, really stood out to me.


morgiefae
by New Member on Feb. 17, 2014 at 7:15 PM

I really hate my state.....

WesternNYmom
by Silver Member on Feb. 17, 2014 at 7:26 PM
1 mom liked this

I am glad that bill will be shot down. It is ridiculous to deny someone entrance into a movie theater or resturant simply, because you disagree with their lifestyle.

HurricaneLover
by on Feb. 17, 2014 at 8:07 PM

As a tropical storm, it really bothers me that the most bigoted states are landlocked, preventing me from bringing down watery justice on their horrible politicians.

mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Feb. 17, 2014 at 8:08 PM

 why - It sounds like reason and good sense prevailed. 

Quoting morgiefae:

I really hate my state.....

 

mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Feb. 17, 2014 at 8:10 PM
1 mom liked this

 that is what tornado's are for - except they usually strike the good people for some reason.

Quoting HurricaneLover:

As a tropical storm, it really bothers me that the most bigoted states are landlocked, preventing me from bringing down watery justice on their horrible politicians.

 

mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Feb. 17, 2014 at 8:12 PM
1 mom liked this

I think the good people of Kansas realized that if they allow the bigots to start legaly discriminating based on their arbitrary religious beliefs it would be all downhill from their. Most of the extreme christians that I know in Kansas are hypocrits.

morgiefae
by New Member on Feb. 17, 2014 at 10:13 PM
1 mom liked this

Because It got that far to begin with... and the fact that I know way too many people that agreed with the bill....

Quoting mikiemom:

 why - It sounds like reason and good sense prevailed. 

Quoting morgiefae:

I really hate my state.....



Healthystart30
by Silver Member on Feb. 17, 2014 at 10:21 PM
1 mom liked this
I'm glad some republicans decided to do the right thing and go against the nut bags in their party! It's time for the religious right to realize that they have lost their war against the gays! Lets move on to more pressing matters please!
Bookwormy
by Platinum Member on Feb. 18, 2014 at 12:32 AM
They created this insanity; good to know that they can kill it too. They finally did something right, but first they made a colossal, humiliating mistake.
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