Kansas House passes bill allowing refusal of service to same-sex couples

VI™

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 27, 2010
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Kansas House passes bill allowing refusal of service to same-sex couples

http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/13/us/kansas-bill-same-sex-services/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

(CNN) -- Denying services to same-sex couples may soon become legal in Kansas.

House Bill 2453 explicitly protects religious individuals, groups and businesses that refuse services to same-sex couples, particularly those looking to tie the knot.

It passed the state's Republican-dominated House on Wednesday with a vote of 72-49, and has gone to the Senate for a vote.

Such a law may seem unnecessary in a state where same-sex marriage is banned, but some Kansas lawmakers think different.

They want to prevent religious individuals and organizations from getting sued, or otherwise punished, for not providing goods or services to gay couples -- or for not recognizing their marriages or committed relationship as valid.
This includes employees of the state.

The politics
The law claims to protect the rights of religious people, but gender rights advocates such as Equality Kansas are dismayed.

"Kansans across the state are rightly appalled that legislators are spending their efforts to pass yet another piece of legislation that seeks to enshrine discrimination against gay and lesbian people into law," state chairwoman Sandra Meade said.

"HB 2453 is a blatant attempt to maintain second-class citizen status for taxpaying gay and lesbian Kansans."

Despite the blowback, its chances of passing seem pretty good.
Republicans dominate the state's Senate and Gov. Sam Brownback is a conservative Christian known for taking a public stand against same-sex marriage.

Brownback has already praised the bill in an interview with a local newspaper.
"Americans have constitutional rights, among them the right to exercise their religious beliefs and the right for every human life to be treated with respect and dignity," he told The Topeka Capital-Journal.

The details
HB 2453 is titled "An act concerning religious freedoms with respect to marriage" and covers many bases.

It reads, in part: "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:

"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."

Anyone who turns away a gay couple not only can't face a civil suit, but if anyone tries to sue, they could get nailed with the other side's legal fees.
There are some small concession in the bill to gay couples.

If an employee at a nonreligious or government business refuses to serve a gay or lesbian couple for religious reasons, the manager is obligated to find another employee who will oblige.

It also explicitly says that the law does not authorize discrimination against anyone, including clergy, who performs or supports same-sex unions.

The trend
The Kansas bill would seem to buck the trend.

Laws approving same-sex marriage have recently passed in many parts of the United States, bringing the total number of states where it is legal to 17. Add to that the District of Columbia.

Worldwide, 16 other countries (and parts of Mexico) also have laws allowing same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships. Most of the nations are in Europe and South America.
Thoughts on this? I believe in not discriminating, but if why would you go to someone who doesn't share your beliefs and convictions and ask for a specific service? It seems like a person may just be doing it for the possible lawsuit...

:confused:
 

Bug-Creator

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May 30, 2011
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VI™;18766381 said:
Thoughts on this? I believe in not discriminating.....

Replace gay/lesbian with black/latino/disabled/catholic/jewish/small/fat/... and reread again.

Still think it's not discriminating ?

IMO such laws should only be possible for those actually performing a weeding based on religion (read priests) and that only when there are non-religious options available.
 

Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
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Toronto, Ontario
Churches should be allowed to refuse to marry same sex couples, but that's about it.. Seems like an overreach using the churches as a platform. Businesses should not be allowed to refuse service based on someone being gay.
 

chrono1081

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Jan 26, 2008
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Churches should be allowed to refuse to marry same sex couples, but that's about it.. Seems like an overreach using the churches as a platform. Businesses should not be allowed to refuse service based on someone being gay.
I'm gay and I agree with this. I don't want to get married by a church anyway since they do nothing but spread hate and poison. (And before anyone jumps I'm a Christian but I'm a real Christian who knows God doesn't tell you to discriminate and hate). That being said I could care less if a church doesn't want to marry me but I have every right to get married. I pay taxes, I contribute to society, why can't I marry as well?

And I also agree business shouldn't be allowed to discriminate. People argue the "well its their business" excuse but if every business did that we'd be in trouble which is why there are laws against it.
 

VI™

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 27, 2010
636
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Shepherdsturd, WV
Replace gay/lesbian with black/latino/disabled/catholic/jewish/small/fat/... and reread again.

Still think it's not discriminating ?

IMO such laws should only be possible for those actually performing a weeding based on religion (read priests) and that only when there are non-religious options available.
It is and I have thought about that. Why would a black model go to a photographer who is a member of a racist organization? KKK, Neo-Nazi, white power etc...

It seems that knowing a person's beliefs, you can use this information to intentionally bring up a lawsuit. I'll get to the reasoning of this after the other two quotes.

Churches should be allowed to refuse to marry same sex couples, but that's about it.. Seems like an overreach using the churches as a platform. Businesses should not be allowed to refuse service based on someone being gay.
OK, I'll get to it a little bit earlier. IIRC, a wedding photographer was sued for refusing to shoot a wedding because the couple was homosexual. Gay or lesbian, I forget, but they said they didn't believe in it and couldn't shoot the wedding.

I'm gay and I agree with this. I don't want to get married by a church anyway since they do nothing but spread hate and poison. (And before anyone jumps I'm a Christian but I'm a real Christian who knows God doesn't tell you to discriminate and hate). That being said I could care less if a church doesn't want to marry me but I have every right to get married. I pay taxes, I contribute to society, why can't I marry as well?

And I also agree business shouldn't be allowed to discriminate. People argue the "well its their business" excuse but if every business did that we'd be in trouble which is why there are laws against it.
Not all churches. I'm not a very religious man, but my girlfriend is and in sharing in her life, I attend church with here about half the time. There is a gay couple in the church. One of them plays the organ and piano. No one there shows any outward discrimination and it's a Lutheran church, so there's no "You're going to hell if you do this or you don't do that" going on. But I agree with you that why would someone seek something from an organization that has opposite beliefs. That thought seems pretty broad, but I'm sure you know what I mean. I believe gay couples should have every right as straight couples. I don't believe a church should be forced to marry a gay couple. There are churches/pastors/etc... out there that will do it, so why not go to them?

Now for the wedding photography thought, it's ingrained in wedding culture. Would the situation have been different if they just said that they refused to shoot the wedding and have a clause that says they have the right to refuse any and all customers? However, I don't agree with this practice if it's something like signing up for a gym or going to a doctors, etc...

I see both sides of the argument, and I agree with certain things on both sides, but it's really hard to say I support the issue one way or another.
 

Bug-Creator

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2011
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It is and I have thought about that. Why would a black model go to a photographer who is a member of a racist organization? KKK, Neo-Nazi, white power etc...

It seems that knowing a person's beliefs, you can use this information to intentionally bring up a lawsuit. I'll get to the reasoning of this after the other two quotes.
I say you still got it the wrong way round:

If you have madeup issues with certain people you can either suck it up or stay out of proffesions that require you to serve random people (which sooner or later will clash with your madeup issues).
 

Tomorrow

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Replace gay/lesbian with black/latino/disabled/catholic/jewish/small/fat/... and reread again.

Still think it's not discriminating ?
In Kansas, it's perfectly legal to be black/latino/disabled/catholic/jewish/small/fat...

...but against the law to marry someone of the same sex. So a business owner can, theoretically, make the claim that he won't engage in business to support an "illegal activity."

That's the only possible leg I can see this movement has to stand on, but then there's the adage (my own, actually): just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean it's a good idea.

I'm gay and I agree with this. I don't want to get married by a church anyway since they do nothing but spread hate and poison.
I genuinely feel bad for you if your experience with church has been so horrible that you actually believe this.
 

dec.

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Apr 15, 2012
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Just another reason to avoid "religious" people. I don't want to cause them any conflicts by engaging them socially risking that they might think that a so called "god" isn't happy to see us interacting.
 

chrono1081

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I genuinely feel bad for you if your experience with church has been so horrible that you actually believe this.
I live in Central PA where people think the earth is 6000 years old (well where I live now they don't but where I did live they do) so yea, unfortunately my church experiences were never good (and I went probably 16 - 18 years of my life).

I'm a Christian, but a non-denominational one that believes in a higher power but also in science and feels my money is better spent donating to charity verses a church so I'm not liked by many Christians.
 

VI™

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 27, 2010
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Shepherdsturd, WV
I say you still got it the wrong way round:

If you have madeup issues with certain people you can either suck it up or stay out of proffesions that require you to serve random people (which sooner or later will clash with your madeup issues).
So if you run a party planning service and a Klan member hires you to plan a rally, you're legally obligated to do it since you can't rightfully discriminate against them based on your beliefs and if you do, you can face a lawsuit?

In that case, it could potentially apply to all professions in the service industry.
 

macquariumguy

macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2002
823
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Sarasota FL
Until sexual orientation is made a protected class, as I believe it someday will, Kansas is within their rights to do this. I don't like it, but I'd bet a large majority of Kansans think it's fine.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
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Until sexual orientation is made a protected class, as I believe it someday will, Kansas is within their rights to do this. I don't like it, but I'd bet a large majority of Kansans think it's fine.

Of course they're within their rights to pass this legislation but it will never stand the test of the courts.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
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St. Louis, MO
So if you run a party planning service and a Klan member hires you to plan a rally, you're legally obligated to do it since you can't rightfully discriminate against them based on your beliefs and if you do, you can face a lawsuit?

In that case, it could potentially apply to all professions in the service industry.

No one chooses to be gay but people choose to be racist pieces of human garbage, so yes, you should be able to discriminate against klan members.
 

jkcerda

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Jun 10, 2013
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No one chooses to be gay but people choose to be racist pieces of human garbage, so yes, you should be able to discriminate against klan members.
what if they become a protected class?:confused:

I'll never understand why some alleged "conservatives" are extreme homophobes:confused:
 

iJohnHenry

macrumors P6
Mar 22, 2008
16,505
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On tenterhooks
No one chooses to be gay but people choose to be racist pieces of human garbage, so yes, you should be able to discriminate against klan members.
Perhaps not, for there is evidence in Nature that one variation of a species will attack another only because they are "different".

So, to extrapolate in the extreme, racists are still animals at heart. :p

Or they are just ****ing stupid. :rolleyes:
 

VI™

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 27, 2010
636
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Shepherdsturd, WV
No one chooses to be gay but people choose to be racist pieces of human garbage, so yes, you should be able to discriminate against klan members.
Replace it with whatever you choose, handicap, DS, etc... It's the example that matters. And even then there are people that will argue with you that people choose to be gay or not.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
Replace it with whatever you choose, handicap, DS, etc... It's the example that matters. And even then there are people that will argue with you that people choose to be gay or not.
The Americans with Disabilities Act already makes it illegal to discriminate against people who are disabled.

If Congress passes the Americans Who Are A Waste Of Space and Oxygen Act, then it will be illegal to discriminate against klan members.
 

lannister80

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2009
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Chicagoland
So if you run a party planning service and a Klan member hires you to plan a rally, you're legally obligated to do it since you can't rightfully discriminate against them based on your beliefs and if you do, you can face a lawsuit?

In that case, it could potentially apply to all professions in the service industry.
Nope, being a Klan member is not a Federally protected class, so the business can tell them to take a hike.

Unfortunately, being gay isn't a Federally protected class either. Hopefully that will change soon.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
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If Congress passes the Americans Who Are A Waste Of Space and Oxygen Act, then it will be illegal to discriminate against klan members.

With an unintended consequence of affording Congress protected status.
 

noisycats

macrumors 6502a
Jun 1, 2010
771
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The 'ham. Alabama.
Unfortunately, being gay isn't a Federally protected class either. Hopefully that will change soon.
And ironically, legislation like Kansas is passing will drive Federal protection that much quicker.
So in a sense, bless Kansas. Their ignorance and homophobia will serve to be one more step on the path to equality.
 

Andeavor

macrumors 6502
Aug 19, 2010
294
1
Replace it with whatever you choose, handicap, DS, etc... It's the example that matters. And even then there are people that will argue with you that people choose to be gay or not.
It's useless to argue with you about that because you've never been in our place, which I can tell you is rather scary considering people have and still take their liberty to steamroll over our emotions just because they think they know what's right for everyone.