Protesters gather in Topeka to oppose ‘Religious Freedom’ bill
Protesters waved rainbow flags as they rallied in Topeka against SB 142, also called the Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act. (Adam Strunk/The Wichita Eagle)
By Adam Strunk
Eagle Topeka Bureau
Published Thursday, April 26, 2012, at 4:50 p.m.
Updated Thursday, April 26, 2012, at 5:54 p.m.
Nearly 100 people crowded on the Capitol steps Thursday to protest what they called “legislative hate.”
The group, many members or allies of the LGBT community, waved rainbow flags and had strong words for legislators looking to pass SB 142, also called the Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act.
Proponents of the bill say it attempts to protect the religious rights of Kansans. Those gathered in front of the Capitol, however, cited language within the bill that would allow renters, business owners and citizens to deny services to those who violate their religious tenets.
The bill states that Kansans cannot use religion to justify discrimination based on gender, race or ethnicity. But sexual orientation or gender identification receives no protection.