Kansas Senate blocks religious bigotry bill – same as Arizona’s religious bigotry bill

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Earlier this week the radical Tea-Publican House in the Kansas Legislature passed a religious bigotry bill nearly identical to the religious bigotry bill currently in the Arizona Legislature. These bills are almost certainly model legislation from the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) that I posted about earlier. The Arizona Republic:One step forward, two steps back on religious bigotry.

The Kansas City Star reported, Kansas House passes bill allowing service refusal to gay couples:

The Kansas House has approved a bill aimed at keeping individuals, groups and businesses from being compelled to help with same-sex weddings.

The House’s 72-49 vote Wednesday sends HB 2453 to the Senate.

Supporters describe it as a religious freedom measure. Opponents contend it will encourage discrimination against gays and lesbians.

The bill would bar government sanctions when individuals, groups and businesses cite religious beliefs in refusing to recognize a marriage or civil union, or to provide goods, services, accommodations or employment benefits to a couple. Anti-discrimination lawsuits also would be barred. Individual workers and government employees also would get some protections.

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The bill covers private and public employees. Government agencies would still be required to provide services, but individual clerks could refuse to serve same-sex couples based on their religious beliefs on marriage.

Businesses would still provide services, provided it was not unduly burdensome to do so.

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The bill’s true purpose is to enable discrimination by government employees, said Thomas Witt, spokesman, for Equality Kansas.

In other words, a return to the "good ol' days" of state-sanctioned segregation — this time against gays and lesbians.

Surprisingly, the Senate in the Kansas Legislature is a little less radical than the Tea-Publican House. The Senate President says the Senate will not pass the bill in its current form. The New York Times reports, Kansas: Senate President Objects to Bill on Services for Gay Couples:

The state Senate will not pass a bill in its current form that would prevent lawsuits against someone who refuses, for religious reasons, to provide services to gays and lesbians, the chamber’s president said Friday.

Senate President Susan Wagle, a Wichita Republican, said the bill, which was approved Wednesday in the House, goes beyond protecting religious freedom. She raised concerns about how the measure could affect businesses that would refuse services to gay couples.

The measure would prohibit government sanctions or lawsuits over faith-based refusals to recognize same-sex unions or to provide goods, services, accommodations or employment benefits to couples.

Ms. Wagle said she wanted a measure that removed the language extending protections to individual state and local government employees. “Public service needs to remain public service for the entire public,” she said.

Does anyone believe there is someone in our Tea-Publican controlled Arizona legislature who will stand up and say "this bill shall not pass"? Does anyone believe Governor Jan Brewer would veto it?

The bill is certain to be litigated in court on grounds of equal protection under the 14th Amendment. We are not going back to the dark days of American Apartheid and state-sanctioned segregation.

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