John M. Becker

Kansans Protest 'Right to Discriminate' Bill

Filed By John M. Becker | February 17, 2014 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: anti-discrimination law, backpedaling, Christianists, damage control, GOP, Kansas, privilege, religious exemption, Republican Party, special rights, theocracy

kansas-state-capitol.jpgYesterday, about 250 Kansans converged on the statehouse in Topeka to protest a "right to discriminate" bill, HB 2453, that would allow people and businesses to reject LGBT customers based on their "sincerely held religious beliefs." The bill sailed through the Kansas house on Wednesday but stalled in the state Senate on Friday.

The Lawrence Journal-World has the story:

"Shock," "fear" and "embarrassment" were among the words protesters used Sunday to describe their reaction to legislation that would allow Kansans to cite religious beliefs to deny services to same-sex couples...

"This is a time when we need to take a stand," said the Rev. Peter Luckey, senior pastor of the Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence.

Luckey said he couldn't believe the House would approve such legislation. He said people who disagree about whether same-sex marriages should be recognized "understand that discrimination is wrong" and called the bill hurtful and mean-spirited...

During Sunday's protest, which was organized by the gay rights advocacy group Equality House of Topeka, participants formed two lines behind signs labeled "Second Class Citizens" and "Straight People." The lines went up the south steps of the Capitol.

"We don't judge others," said Dee Moore, of Topeka. "We think all are God's children."

The article notes that the fight to create special rights for anti-LGBT Christians may not be over yet in Kansas: while HB 2453 was too unpalatable for Republican state Senate leaders in its current form, they have pledged to propose "alternative legislation to protect religious beliefs."

A video of the protest is after the jump.

Image via Wikipedia.

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