Kansas state House sent a bill to the state Senate today that will legalize discrimination based on sexual orientation. The bill (HB2453) literally states that, if it would be contrary to the sincerely held religious beliefs of the individual or religious entity regarding sex or gender, no person or corporation shall be required to "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."
That blatant bigotry passed the House with a 72-49 vote and was introduced to the Republican led state Senate today. It's likely to pass and become law as the Republican leadership fears the federal government's increasing acceptance of homosexuality and same-sex marriages. Their fears are growing closer to home as news comes out of Missouri Tuesday of the ACLU challenging Missouri's acceptance of same-sex marriage.
Kansas Republicans planned this bill with the ACLU in mind, though. The last section of the bill is written entirely to make the law difficult to overthrow in court.
Sec. 4. (a) If any word, phrase, clause or provision of sections 1
through 4, and amendments thereto, or the application of any such word,
phrase, clause or provision to any person or circumstance is held invalid,
the remaining provisions shall be given effect without the invalid portion
and to this end the provisions of sections 1 through 4, and amendments
thereto, are severable.
This means that each, individual right that is trampled with this law will need to be challenged and overthrown in court on an individual basis. Those guys think of everything.
With a law like this in place, University of Missouri's Michael Sam could have been prevented from going to school and playing football. It's lucky for him that the Chiefs are based on the Missouri side of Kansas City so his draft options aren't affected by this legislation.
But Kansas has ways to deal with people who don't venture into its borders, too. They just need to send out their very own homophobic street team, the Westboro Baptists. For those who don't know, the Westboro Baptists are a group of homophobic lawyers who go around looking for sensitive moments to disrupt with rude signs, then sue anyone who looks at them funny. They're planning on being at the University of Missouri in Columbia this Saturday, February 15th from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.
The Westboro Baptists may have trouble proselytizing their bigotry in Columbia, however. A counter protest currently being organized already has over 4,000 people planning to attend. Perhaps they should just stay in Kansas.