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Thu Feb 13, 2014, 12:05 PM

Kansas’ Anti-Gay Segregation Bill Is an Abomination

By Mark Joseph Stern

On Tuesday, the Kansas House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a measure designed to bring anti-gay segregation—under the guise of “religious liberty”—to the already deep-red state. The bill, written out of fear that the state may soon face an Oklahoma-style gay marriage ruling, will now easily pass the Republican Senate and be signed into law by the Republican governor. The result will mark Kansas as the first state, though certainly not the last, to legalize segregation of gay and straight people in virtually every arena of life.

If that sounds overblown, consider the bill itself. When passed, the new law will allow any individual, group, or private business to refuse to serve gay couples if “it would be contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs.” Private employers can continue to fire gay employees on account of their sexuality. Stores may deny gay couples goods and services because they are gay. Hotels can eject gay couples or deny them entry in the first place. Businesses that provide public accommodations—movie theaters, restaurants—can turn away gay couples at the door. And if a gay couple sues for discrimination, they won’t just lose; they’ll be forced to pay their opponent’s attorney’s fees. As I’ve noted before, anti-gay businesses might as well put out signs alerting gay people that their business isn’t welcome.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to barring all anti-discrimination lawsuits against private employers, the new law permits government employees to deny service to gays in the name of “religious liberty.” This is nothing new, but the sweep of Kansas’ statute is breathtaking. Any government employee is given explicit permission to discriminate against gay couples—not just county clerks and DMV employees, but literally anyone who works for the state of Kansas. If a gay couple calls the police, an officer may refuse to help them if interacting with a gay couple violates his religious principles. State hospitals can turn away gay couples at the door and deny them treatment with impunity. Gay couples can be banned from public parks, public pools, anything that operates under the aegis of the Kansas state government.

It gets worse. The law’s advocates claim that it applies only to gay couples—but there’s no clear limiting principle in the text of the bill that would keep it from applying to gay individuals as well. 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.) This subtle loophole is really just a blank check to discriminate: As long as an individual believes that his service is somehow linked to a gay union of any form, he can legally refuse his services. And since anyone who denies gays service is completely shielded from any charges, no one will ever have to prove that their particular form of discrimination fell within the four corners of the law.

more
http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2014/02/13/kansas_anti_gay_segregation_bill_is_an_abomination.html?

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply Kansas’ Anti-Gay Segregation Bill Is an Abomination (Original post)
DonViejo Feb 2014 OP
sarcasmo Feb 2014 #1
quinnox Feb 2014 #2
WorseBeforeBetter Feb 2014 #4
gaspee Feb 2014 #3
geek tragedy Feb 2014 #7
Behind the Aegis Feb 2014 #5
geek tragedy Feb 2014 #6
theHandpuppet Feb 2014 #8
geek tragedy Feb 2014 #10
theHandpuppet Feb 2014 #13
geek tragedy Feb 2014 #15
DonViejo Feb 2014 #16
theHandpuppet Feb 2014 #17
okaawhatever Feb 2014 #11
theHandpuppet Feb 2014 #14
okaawhatever Feb 2014 #20
Bluenorthwest Feb 2014 #9
okaawhatever Feb 2014 #21
Demo_Chris Feb 2014 #12
okaawhatever Feb 2014 #18
justiceischeap Feb 2014 #19
rbrnmw Feb 2014 #22

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 12:36 PM

1. The governor signing a hate bill, sad day in Kansas.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 12:57 PM

2. Damn, sounds like something out of Russia....

 

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Response to quinnox (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:06 PM

4. ...

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:01 PM

3. How can this be constitutional? (nt)

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Response to gaspee (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:14 PM

7. It's not, but since when have bigots cared about the constitution? nt

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:08 PM

5. One more hoop to jump through.

They can't stand we are getting so close to being treated as equals. They have their own supporters who bash gays for standing up against this type of shit, no matter where it is!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:13 PM

6. I wish we could refuse service to the entire state of Kansas

and invite it to leave the union in the name of our religious liberty to not be amongst backwards bigots.

Maybe Putin would take them.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:19 PM

8. Seriously, LGBTS need to consider avoiding Kansas at all costs

Even if it's a drive-through. Not only could you be refused any services, but what if you got sick or had an accident? If you're planning to travel, best to plot a route around the state. Be safe.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:23 PM

10. Oh noez, regional bigotry!

But, yes that's solid advice. I would expand it to say that the entire state should be boycotted in addition to the safety measures you proposed.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:30 PM

13. Nope, not regional bigotry. Just practical advice.

If you're gay, traveling through Kansas could literally be dangerous. Something more LGBTs should consider when making travel plans. There are other states proposing similar legislation so it's hard to keep current, but the scope of Kansas' law is jaw-dropping.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:32 PM

15. i was being facetious--i agree with you 100% nt

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Response to theHandpuppet (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:38 PM

16. "There are other states proposing similar legislation...."...

Yep, there sure are:

Anti-Gay Segregation May Soon Be Coming to Oregon

In November, Oregonians will vote on (and probably pass) a constitutional amendment allowing gay marriage in the state. Just down the ballot, another initiative will likely appear, giving business owners a “right of conscience” to refuse gay people service. As worded, the referendum will present itself as a modest caveat to the gay marriage law, extending a few basic safeguards for religious freedom. In reality, this ugly, mean-spirited initiative will herald nothing less than a new era of anti-gay segregation in Oregon—and, potentially, all across America.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2014/02/04/oregon_anti_gay_referendum_the_initiative_is_homophobic_segregation.html

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Response to DonViejo (Reply #16)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:44 PM

17. Code phrase = "religious liberty"

I don't think many folks realize just how insidious and far-reaching these exemptions for "religious liberty" can be.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:26 PM

11. I think we should all boycott Kansas. I wonder what products are made there? I'll look it up. nt

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Response to okaawhatever (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:31 PM

14. Even better, support those states which support equality.

Next time you travel or make vacation plans, show those states that support equality that an inclusive society is good for business!

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Response to theHandpuppet (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 05:35 PM

20. Well okay, but the Koch Brothers are based in Kansas so it is really a two for one. I didn't include

any small business owners or good corporations on the list. FWIW

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:23 PM

9. Kansas is the throbbing heart of ignorance.

I feel so sorry for the intelligent minority there.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 05:37 PM

21. I was reading the comments in the local paper about this and it was very refreshing. The people of

Kansas were appropriately pissed, and embarassed. Maybe it was more of a liberal paper, but it was very eye-opening and pleasant.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:28 PM

12. sickening. nt

 

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 03:18 PM

18. BOYCOTT Kansas made products. Don't buy into the hate! Here's a list:

Russell Stover Candy: HQ in Missouri, but they have a factory and store in Abilene, Kansas

Koch Brothers Products:

Angel Soft, Quilted Northern, and Soft n' Gentle are toilet paper and facial tissue brands.

Brawny, Dixie, Insulair, Mardi Gras, PerfecTouch, Sparkle, Ultra, and Vanity Fair are tableware, paper towel and napkin brands.

Advantage, Image Plus, and Spectrum are office paper brands.


Tony's Pizza: Salina, Kansas Frozen pizza plus pizza for cafeterias and restaurants

Daisy Co. Hummingbird Feeders, sold by Wal-Mart. Made at Ferguson Production in KS. Made 10 million feeders last year.

Pioneer Balloon Co., Wichita, is the nation's largest manufacturer of latex and Microfoil balloons

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2011/07/17/1936745/things-kansas-makes.html#storylink=cpy

Seaboard Foods: HQ in Shawnee Mission, KS
Pork Products: Prairie Fresh Premium Pork
High Plains Farm Seasoned Pork, Sold at Sam's Club
Daily's Meat Products
67th St. BBQ

Sprint Nextel: Hq in Overland Park, KS

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 03:25 PM

19. Well, the only thing positive I can say about this

is that the hospitals, if they want to continue collecting any kind of federal funding, won't refuse to treat gay people.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Feb 14, 2014, 02:24 PM

22. Sick Bastards All They Know is How to Hate.

And vote against their own self interest The State has turned into a Tea Party rightwing nutjob kkk land.

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