Kansas rejects bill to make anti-gay discrimination legal
Kansas has rejected a bill which would have made LGBT discrimination legal for adoption agencies.
Gay and lesbian couples could have been turned away by adoption and foster care groups under the law, as long as their decisions were based on religious beliefs.
Same-sex couples are legally allowed to adopt in all 50 US states, but attempts are increasingly being made to strip them of that right because of the so-called religious freedom to discriminate.
In Georgia, the Senate and House have both passed a Republican bill which would make it possible to stop same-sex adoption.
And in Kansas, Republicans made a similar effort.
They even found some success, with the Senate voting the bill through by a margin of 28 to 12, after intensely debating whether or not the legislation was homophobic.
But just a few hours, the House of Representatives – which is also dominated by Republicans – blocked the bill, voting it down by 64 to 58.
The issue will now be kicked to a conference committee, where lawmakers across the state Congress will negotiate a final version of the bill.
Senator Barbara Bollier, a Republican, described the bill as “sick discrimination.
“And these are people who can love and adopt children and are doing so. So to say it is not discriminatory, I beg to differ,” she told The Wichita Eagle.
Democratic Senator Lynn Rogers said discrimination was already present, albeit informally.
“Many same-sex families have not had the same freedom of what someone termed traditional families because they haven’t been allowed to be foster parents in some cases,” he said.
“There are some inequities in the system.”
Earlier this year, the Kansas Republican Party vowed to fight against “all efforts to validate transgender identity.”
And six GOP lawmakers unveiled the ‘Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act’ bill to the South Carolina House last month.
The bill appears to be an attempt to segregate same-sex marriage from heterosexual unions in the wake of the 2015 Supreme Court decision that brought equal marriage to all 50 states.
The proposed law seeks to define “any form of marriage that does not involve one man and one woman” as a “parody marriage”.
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The lawmakers claim that “the State of South Carolina’s decision to respect, endorse, and recognize parody marriages and sexual orientation policies has excessively entangled the government with the religion of Secular Humanism, failed to accomplish its intended purpose, and created an indefensible legal weapon against nonobservers”.
South Carolina is one of the worst states in the US in terms of LGBT rights laws.
It is one of seven states that continues to prohibit teachers in publicly-funded schools from discussing LGBT issues in the classroom.
So-called ‘no promo homo’ laws are on the statute books in Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.