House Bill 2453 raises concerns about discrimination against same-sex couples

This week, the Kansas House passed a bill which says residents can deny goods and services to same-sex couples based on religious beliefs. House Bill 2453 may not have the same success in the Senate -- if it even reaches the floor.


The House approved the bill 72-49 on Wednesday. Rep. Peggy Mast was in the majority, saying the bill was meant as a backstop in case current law was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Fellow Rep. Don Hill voted with the minority.

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Senate President Susan Wagle expressed concerns Thursday, saying many Senators support laws defining traditional marriage -- but they also don't condone discrimination. Sen. Jeff Longbine says the bill is premature and, the way it's worded, folks concerned about discrimination have a point.

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House Bill 2453 says government entities can't require an individual or religious group to treat a marriage as valid if it goes against their religious beliefs. Gay-rights advocates say the bill equates to the days of the early civil rights movement, fearing couples could be denied service at restaurants or, perhaps, denied assistance by law enforcement.

Longbine doesn't anticipate the bill even reaching the Senate floor.

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