gay marriage http://kmuw.org en State Rep. Louis Ruiz Drafts Proposal To Expand Anti-Discrimination Laws http://kmuw.org/post/state-rep-louis-ruiz-drafts-proposal-expand-anti-discrimination-laws <p>A Kansas House Democrat has drafted a new proposal to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.</p><p>Kansas City Representative Louis Ruiz presented his proposal Tuesday during a meeting of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee. The panel agreed to sponsor it.</p><p>Such proposals have failed to pass several times in recent years.</p><p>The group Equality Kansas lists expanding anti-discrimination laws to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and the transgendered people against bias in employment, housing and public accommodations is a key goal.</p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 15:23:53 +0000 Associated Press 31369 at http://kmuw.org Kansas Senate Reopens Talks Over 'Religious Freedom Bill' http://kmuw.org/post/kansas-senate-reopens-talks-over-religious-freedom-bill <p>Legislators are also reopening debate on whether the state should give special legal protections for people, groups, and businesses who oppose gay marriage for religious reasons.</p><p>A Senate panel will take testimony on Thursday from legal scholars on whether existing state laws protect gay-marriage opponents from being fined or sued for refusing to provide goods or services for same-sex weddings.</p><p>The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing follows the House's passage of what supporters called a "religious freedom" bill.</p> Thu, 06 Mar 2014 15:53:18 +0000 Associated Press 31095 at http://kmuw.org Gay-Rights Activists Rally At Statehouse To Protest 'Religious Freedom Bill' http://kmuw.org/post/gay-rights-activists-rally-statehouse-protest-religious-freedom-bill <p>Gay-rights supporters are rallying at the Kansas Statehouse at 1pm on Tuesday to protest anti-gay marriage legislation that critics contend would encourage discrimination.</p><p>Rally organizers include: the group Equality Kansas, the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.</p><p>They oppose a bill that prohibits government fines and anti-discrimination lawsuits when people, groups, businesses cite their religious beliefs for refusing goods, services, accommodations or employment benefits to gay and lesbian couples.</p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 15:52:27 +0000 Associated Press 30719 at http://kmuw.org 'Religious Freedom Bill' Faces Uncertain Future In Kansas Legislature http://kmuw.org/post/religious-freedom-bill-faces-uncertain-future-kansas-legislature <p>A bill that supporters say will preserve religious freedom now faces an uncertain future in the Kansas legislature.</p><p>Bill Proponents say it will protect individuals, businesses and religious groups from being involved in same-sex marriage ceremonies for religious reasons. Opponents say it's so broadly written that it offers legal protection for discrimination. The bill passed the Kansas House last week.</p><p>House Speaker Ray Merrick says that he would not put the bill up for a vote again if he could do it over. Merrick says the House will work with the Senate to amend the bill.</p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 16:50:23 +0000 Stephen Koranda 30405 at http://kmuw.org House Will Work With Senate On Same-Sex Marriage Bill http://kmuw.org/post/house-will-work-senate-same-sex-marriage-bill <p>House Speaker Ray Merrick says if he had to do it over again, he would not have brought a controversial religious freedom bill up for a vote.</p><p>The bill would allow businesses, individuals and religious groups to refuse service or employment benefits to same-sex couples on religious grounds.</p><p>Critics of the legislation say it will allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.</p> Fri, 14 Feb 2014 22:36:27 +0000 Stephen Koranda 30275 at http://kmuw.org Susan Wagle: Majority Of Republican State Senators Don't Support 'Religious Freedom Bill' http://kmuw.org/post/susan-wagle-majority-republican-state-senators-dont-support-religious-freedom-bill <p>Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle says her chamber is unlikely to pass <a href="http://kslegislature.org/li/b2013_14/measures/hb2453/">a bill that would prevent lawsuits against someone who refuses, for religious reasons, to provide services to gay and lesbian people.</a></p><p>Wagle issued a statement Thursday night saying a majority of Republicans in the chamber don't support the bill.</p><p>The bill passed the House on Wednesday, drawing strong reaction from across the country.</p> Fri, 14 Feb 2014 16:15:08 +0000 Associated Press 30255 at http://kmuw.org Kansas House Advances 'Religious Freedom Bill' http://kmuw.org/post/kansas-house-advances-religious-freedom-bill <p>The Kansas House of Representatives has advanced a controversial bill that supporters say will protect religious freedom.</p><p>The bill is seen as a preemptive strike, in case federal courts invalidate the state's ban on same-sex marriage.</p><p>The measure prohibits punishing individuals or religious institutions for choosing not to provide goods or services that would be used in same-sex marriages.</p><p>Supporters of the bill say it protects people who don't want to provide services for same-sex marriages or don't want to recognize the unions for religious reasons.</p> Wed, 12 Feb 2014 16:30:36 +0000 Stephen Koranda 30154 at http://kmuw.org Committee Could Vote On Bill To Protect Those Who Don't Recognize Same-Sex Unions This Week http://kmuw.org/post/committee-could-vote-bill-protect-those-who-dont-recognize-same-sex-unions-week <p>A committee in the Kansas Legislature could vote this week on a bill aiming to protect religious freedom.</p><p>The bill says businesses, individuals and other groups with strong religious beliefs can't be forced to recognize same-sex marriage or provide employment or other services to same-sex couples.</p><p>Michael Schuttloffel is with the Kansas Catholic Conference. He used the example of a photographer asked to photograph a same-sex wedding ceremony.</p> Mon, 03 Feb 2014 16:12:40 +0000 Associated Press 29729 at http://kmuw.org Some Say House Bill 2453 Protects Religious Freedom; Others Say It OK's LGBT Discrimination http://kmuw.org/post/some-say-house-bill-2453-protects-religious-freedom-others-say-it-oks-lgbt-discrimination <p>Kansas' Federal and State Affairs Committee is considering a bill on Tuesday that would protect individuals, groups, and businesses that refuse to recognize same-sex unions.</p><p>The measure--<a href="http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2013_14/measures/HB2453/">House Bill 2453</a>--would also protect those who refuse to provide benefits to gay couples for religious reasons.</p><p>Kansas added a ban against gay marriage to the state constitution in 2005. Voters approved the bill by a 70 percent margin.</p><p>But recently, federal judges struck down similar bans in Utah and Oklahoma.</p> Tue, 28 Jan 2014 15:42:11 +0000 Associated Press 29456 at http://kmuw.org State Lawmakers Considering Proposal To Protect Those Who Don't Recognize Same-Sex Unions http://kmuw.org/post/state-lawmakers-considering-proposal-protect-those-who-dont-recognize-same-sex-unions <p>Despite several more states legalizing gay marriage recently, Kansas lawmakers are considering a proposal that would protect individuals, groups, and businesses that refuse to recognize same-sex unions or to provide benefits to gay couples, for religious reasons.</p><p>State Representative Charles Macheers says the bill will protect religious freedom.</p><p>Governor Brownback is receptive to the idea, but says he hasn't yet studied the proposal enough to offer a formal endorsement.</p> Mon, 27 Jan 2014 15:31:32 +0000 Associated Press 29410 at http://kmuw.org