Gay-rights activists took to the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka on Thursday to protest a bill that would allow landlords, employers and business owners to discriminate against people who violate their religious beliefs.
The Wichita Eagle reports that nearly 100 protestors came to speak out against SB 142, a.k.a. the Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act. “It is legislative abuse, it is legislative bullying and it is legislative dictatorship and it should not be permitted,” said Kansas Equality Coalition’s Pedro Irigonegaray.
But bill sponsor Rep. Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe)—who previously fought to keep Kansas’ sodomy laws on the books even after Lawrence v. Texas—told the Eagle the protestors were wrong about SB 142. “We want to make sure that people of religious faith in Kansas are not subject to laws that discriminate against them based upon their exercising the right to practice their faith.”
Translation: We want to make sure we can treat LGBT people like second-class citizens and then wrap ourselves in the First Amendment if anyone complains.
The bill—which would ban religious discrimination based on gender, race or ethnicity but not sexual orientation or gender presentation—passed the House 91-33 and now heads to the Senate for debate and a possible vote.