House panel approves bill that shields Kansans who refuse to serve same-sex couples on religious grounds


#1

House panel approves bill that shields Kansans who refuse to serve same-sex couples on religious grounds

TOPEKA — The Kansas House will move forward with a bill that would give government employees the right to refuse service to same-sex couples on the basis of their religious beliefs.

Republican supporters of House Bill 2453 say the bill concerns religious liberty. Democratic opponents said the bill unfairly targets gay Kansans. The two sides talked circles around each other Thursday at a meeting of the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs.

kansas.com/2014/02/06/3271717/house-committee-approves-religious.html

As a Kansas resident, I can pray our religious liberties are upheld. :thumbsup: As a realist, I wonder if this legislation will pass. :frowning:


#2

:):thumbsup::bounce::yup::clapping:


#3

How disgusting! If this passes, I’m sure a court will throw it out.

Sorry, but government employees work for everyone, not just straight people. Refusing to serve a gay person at the DMV is not a religious liberty. (I know that’s not what the sponsors intended it to do, but the language is frighteningly broad.)


#4

It will be interesting to see what happens when a clerk discriminates against a Christian marriage and claims religious grounds.


#5

Yes! What ever happened to professionalism?


#6

From the article service still has to be provided to all, it is just that a clerk can abstain from providing the service based upon religious grounds.

Sounds like a case of good politics but bad law.

This means either the state agencies have to have a redundant workforce to fill in at a moments notice (which isn’t going to happen) or not provide equal service (which is unconstitutional.)

This won’t hold up in court.


#7

are Justices of the Peace “government employees”?


#8

yes, well they are a government official


#9

Maybe my legalese isn’t up to snuff, but the text of the bill makes it seem much broader than that.

AN ACT concerning religious freedoms with respect to marriage.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
Section 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no individual
or religious entity shall be required by any governmental entity to do any
of the following, if it would be contrary to the sincerely held religious
beliefs of the individual or religious entity regarding sex or gender:
(a) Provide any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities,
goods, or privileges; provide counseling, adoption, foster care and other
social services; or provide employment or employment benefits, related to,
or related to the celebration of, any marriage, domestic partnership, civil
union or similar arrangement;
(b) solemnize any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or
similar arrangement; or
© treat any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar
arrangement as valid.

kslegislature.org/li/b2013_14/measures/documents/hb2453_00_0000.pdf


#10

Yes it is much broader, your correct.

Which makes it much more unworkable.

I can’t believe the Attorney General of the State of Kansas would back this bill.


#11

Couldn’t they at least have tried to make it applicable to the whole population and not just a small percentage?


#12

Sounds good to me. If it actually causes - not just could cause, but actually will cause - the state to be unable to provide services they are bound to provide, then they will have to hire more people or reconsider offering the services, but regardless, forcing people to violate their beliefs is generally not good.


#13

That will never stand , and it shouldn’t.


#14

Wow…that’s a badly written bill. I’m all for the idea of not compelling people to act against their beliefs, but that is just awful.


#15

Yes bad law-bought about in part on terrible rulings by courts like forcing bakers to bake cakes for homosexual weddings


#16

^This.^

The bill in question isn’t that well written and it needs to include businesspeople more. I hadn’t given as much thought to government employees until this came along. One thing it reminds me of is the Summer of Mercy abortion protests here in Wichita when police who may have been against abortion had to work crowd control and in essence keep the clinics accessible. If I’d been a cop, I’d have found that hard.

They should probably send the bill back to be revised, but I’m glad to see some support for the opposition to everyone just being forced to enable “gay marriage.”


#17

For government employees though? Don’t get me wrong, I’m 125% for allowing private business to discriminate as they please as to not violate their conscience…but government employees? I have a feeling someone’s gonna take this way too far and cause a lawsuit.


#18

Homosexual marriage and religious liberty are not compatible, the numerous lawsuits prove that. Something has to be done to protect businesses who do not participate in providing a product for a civil union or homosexual marriage.


#19

Like a DMV clerk who converts to Islam and then decides that Sharia Law forbids women to drive?


#20

Shouldn’t this extend to things beyond same-sex marriage, then? If someone opposes interracial marriage or marriage of people from two different religions, shouldn’t their consciences also be protected?


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