Jim Crow for Gays in Kansas

Kansas

On Tuesday of this week the Kansas House of Representatives passed a bill that is everything the headline implies and worse.

I don’t think we’ve seen anything quite like this the last half century.

When passed, the new law will allow any individual, group, or private business to refuse to serve gay couples if “it would be contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs.” Private employers can continue to fire gay employees on account of their sexuality. Stores may deny gay couples goods and services because they are gay. Hotels can eject gay couples or deny them entry in the first place. Businesses that provide public accommodations—movie theaters, restaurants—can turn away gay couples at the door. And if a gay couple sues for discrimination, they won’t just lose; they’ll be forced to pay their opponent’s attorney’s fees. [...]

In addition to barring all anti-discrimination lawsuits against private employers, the new law permits government employees to deny service to gays in the name of “religious liberty.” This is nothing new, but the sweep of Kansas’ statute is breathtaking. Any government employee is given explicit permission to discriminate against gay couples—not just county clerks and DMV employees, but literally anyone who works for the state of Kansas. If a gay couple calls the police, an officer may refuse to help them if interacting with a gay couple violates his religious principles. State hospitals can turn away gay couples at the door and deny them treatment with impunity. Gay couples can be banned from public parks, public pools, anything that operates under the aegis of the Kansas state government.

There is absolutely no way this will survive a challenge in federal court, but apparently the Kansas Senate is poised to pass the House bill and Governor Sam Brownback is expected to sign it into law.

The most comically absurd thing about this is that the bill’s proponents argue this is actually an anti-discrimination bill because it protects the religious from marauding gay hordes.

What’s the matter with Kansas?

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  • http://cendax.wordpress.com/ Norbrook

    I wonder how many of these legislators are in the closet?

    Quite simply, this is a law that is so manifestly unconstitutional, and practically impossible to enforce, that I can’t see it lasting more than 10 seconds in a courtroom.

  • Ned F

    Onward Christian soldiers.. marching forward, into the past.

    • LaughingAtheist

      How much longer do we have to wait for this generation’s christians…. to crawl back under their rocks?

  • trgahan

    Yet again, the party of “strict constitutionalists” doing something blatantly unconstitutional….but since they’re not liberal or a minority no one will report it that way.

    • LaughingAtheist

      You’ve got to realize…. Christianity and Democracy do not live well with each other. The christian ‘Sheeple’ can not live without someone telling how to live, And they want the rest of us to live the same way. I say, they should go F**K themselves…..

  • j.martindale

    The clowns who enacted this knew that it will not withstand judicial scrutiny. They did it for two reasons: First, they love to insult gays. It makes these little people feel superior. Secondly, Kansas Republicans rely on a base of religious bigots. And nothing will win the hearts of bigots and fill the coffers of right wing politicians like an attack on a despised minority. I must say, as a gay man, despite the progress we are making, I wish I could pick up and move away from this hostile, malevolent nation and go to a more welcoming community. I know I am not alone in this.

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      On behalf of all the assholes in this nation, let me extend my deepest apologies and, if I may, a small joke. If you move to another country, can you take me with you?

      • j.martindale

        Swetheart, as an old Irish guy, you can go with me anywhere.

        • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

          Awwwww, that’s sweet, thank you. We’ll take Paris by storm!

  • eljefejeff

    As terrible as this is, it can only backfire. The writing is on the wall. Discrimination goes viral these days. Let a company try to discriminate against gays. Their businesses will pay the price like this guy’s
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/10/anti-gay-restaurant-garys-chicaros-pranked-by-internet-yelp_n_4759713.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

    • Jone_of_Snark

      Serious schadenfreude snickering!

      Fave Yelper comment: Alex H. from Kentucky observed
      that he “thought this place was going to be cheap,” but noted that the
      “all male review night” forced him “to whip out all [his] singles.

  • WiscoJoe

    And not just gays! From my reading of the legislation it would allow a situation where a Protestant couple, married in a civil ceremony by a Justice of the Peace, could be turned away from the ER at a Catholic Hospital because their marriage goes against Catholic religious beliefs.

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      Nah, the Catholic Hospitals will admit not Catholics, they just won’t do any life saving procedures that violate their religious beliefs…so they would sit there and watch the patient die….like they often do with women who are in need of an emergency abortion.

  • Christopher Foxx


    the new law permits government employees to deny service to gays in the name of “religious liberty.”

    No. If you’re going to take a job in gov’t service, your personal opinion gets checked at the door. If you can’t do that, then you don’t get to work in gov’t service.

    IN general, I’d say if you’re in a job which serves the public good (I’m specifically thinking of pharmacists here) a requirement of the job is that you don’t let your personal views interfere in providing the service you’re supposed to provide. If you can’t do that, then you are not qualified to hold that job.

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      While I agree with you and think this should be the most obvious thing in the world, I know for a fact this is getting tested on a local basis all over the country now that more county courthouses are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. I hear at least one story a month about how some county official refuses to do their job. I think we’ll be seeing litigation about this for quite some time to come….unfortunately.

      • Christopher Foxx

        IMHO, you refuse to do your job you get fired. Period.

        I realize in the real world the reason the county clerk feels comfortable not doing their job is the tacit or even open support of their superior(s). But were I in charge in a charge of a clerk/pharmacist/what have you who pulled “religious freedom” crap as an excuse for not doing the job they were hired to do, they’d be out within the hour.

        • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

          I would fire them too, believe me.

  • Christopher Foxx

    The most comically absurd thing about this is that the bill’s proponents argue this is actually an anti-discrimination bill because it protects the religious from marauding gay hordes.

    Of course. Don’t you get it? The only victims there ever are are the white, heterosexual, Christian “Christian” majority.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Not being allowed to discriminate is the worst form of discrimination.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    Oh, this is hilarious. This is like a bad Star Trek episode come to life.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Someone stole Spock’s Kansas’s brain?

  • D_C_Wilson

    Another self-righteous asshole and so-called “Christian” who apparently missed then entire point of the Parable of Good Samaritan.

  • LaughingAtheist

    It’s ‘Groundhog Day’ for America….. We’re repeating the 50′s!

  • LaughingAtheist

    Everything’s up to date in Kansas City….. If you’re living in the 1800′s…..

  • muselet

    The most comically absurd thing about this is that the bill’s proponents argue this is actually an anti-discrimination bill because it protects the religious from marauding gay hordes.

    Rush Limbaugh also seems to think—if that be the right word—we straight people should be terrified of those marauding gay hordes. I don’t feel under assault, but then I’m not a raving lunatic.

    –alopecia

  • mrbrink

    I’m surprised they found someone who could translate this from its original 1933 German.

    Jim Crow? Fuck that, who keeps letting the fucking Nazi party back in power?

    Republicans, that’s who.

    What’s worse is that these sick, off-to-glory faced goose-stepping motherfuckers have resorted to employing phrases like “Gaystapo” to project their obvious likeness to the Third Reich onto others. They can’t be like Nazis because Gays, Hollywood Jew bankers and Liberal Democrats are like the Nazis!

    Sure thing, assholes.

    The roots of this legislation has a distinct historical symbol stuck to its chest:

  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    What’s the matter with Kansas?

    I know that is a rhetorical question but I can’t resist….The same cancer that’s eating at the rest of America–conservatism.

    If a gay couple calls the police, an officer may refuse to help them if interacting with a gay couple violates his religious principles.

    This is so wrong I can’t even begin to fathom how anyone could swear the LEO oath and then obey this. Blows my mind.