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Kansas rejects bill to make anti-gay discrimination legal

Josh Jackman March 30, 2018
A gay male couple representing same-sex couples who have a child through an adoption agency

The ruling came as Republicans in Congress attempt to push for legal discrimination (AdobeStock)

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.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 30: (L-R) Sydney couple, Faycal Dow, aged 38, daughter Myla Dow, aged 2 months, and Hunter Dow, aged 44, pose during a portrait session on May 30, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. Faycal and Hunter were legally married in France last year and had their first child Myla this year and are supporters of same-sex marriage. " For the sake of our daughter more than anything, it is important that our marriage is recognised as valid in Australia, the country we live in and hope to bring our beautiful daughter up in", said Hunter. The marriage equality debate in Australia has reignited on the back of Ireland's referendum legalising same-sex marriage last week. Recent polls suggest public support for gay marriage in Australia is at an all-time high of 72%. (Photo by Don Arnold/Getty Images)
(Getty)

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.

About 1000 Woodrow Wilson High School students and gay supporters rally in support of Principal Pete Cahall, June 9, 2014 at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, DC. The rally was held to counter a planned protest by  Westboro Baptist Church, the Kansas-based organization known for anti-gay picketing at funerals.  The church's protest, which was planned in advance, comes less than a week after the school held its second annual gay pride day event and Cahall came out as a gay man.  AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards        (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
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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.

About 1000 Woodrow Wilson High School students and gay supporters rally in support of Principal Pete Cahall, June 9, 2014 at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, DC. The rally was held to counter a planned protest by  Westboro Baptist Church, the Kansas-based organization known for anti-gay picketing at funerals.  The church's protest, which was planned in advance, comes less than a week after the school held its second annual gay pride day event and Cahall came out as a gay man.  AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards        (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
(Getty)

“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.

TOPSHOT - American Gordon Lake (L) and his Spanish husband Manuel Valero (R) play with their daughter Carmen after a hearing at The Central Juvenile and Family Court in Bangkok on March 30, 2016. A foreign same-sex couple battling a local Thai surrogate for custody over their infant daughter said on March 30 their lives had been "destroyed" by the 14-month legal war that has prevented their family from returning home. Manuel Valero, from Spain, and his American husband Gordon Lake were blocked from leaving Thailand with their daughter Carmen after the surrogate refused to sign necessary paperwork following the birth last January. / AFP / LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
(Getty)

“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.

BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 15: Gay couple Kai (L) and Michael Korok and their daughter Jana, 4, attend the opening of Germany's first gay parent counseling center on March 15, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. The Regenbogenfamilien Zentrum (Rainbow Families Center) will provide counseling and other services to families with gay, lesbian and transgender parents. Gay marriage is legal in Germany though gay couples are not entitled to the same full legal rights as heterosexual couples, and the issue of child adoption by gay couples remains legally somewhat complicated. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
(Getty)

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”.

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”.

DES MOINES, IA - APRIL 27: Jodie Vandermark-Martinez (R) is married to her partner Jessica during a ceremony performed by Rev. Peg Esperanza (C) on the steps of the Polk County Administration Building April 27, 2009 in Des Moines, Iowa. Today was the first day gay couples were allowed to marry in the state following an April 3, 2009 ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court which declared a legislative ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Getty)

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.

More: Anti-gay, Kansas, Law, Politics, Republicans, US, US

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