Kansas bill that allows refusal of service to gay couples denied by Senate
Kansas’ state Senate will not pass a bill in its current form that would legalize discrimination against gay couples in the state.
The bill, which was approved by the House, would prevent lawsuits against someone who refuses to provide services to members of the LGBT community for religious reasons.
Senate President Susan Wagle, a Wichita Republican, said the bill, which was approved Wednesday in the House, goes beyond protecting religious freedom. She raised concerns about how the measure could affect businesses that would refuse services to gay couples. The measure would prohibit government sanctions or lawsuits over faith-based refusals to recognize same-sex unions or to provide goods, services, accommodations or employment benefits to couples.
Critics of the bill have concerned about the law protecting state and government employees. In its current form, the law gives these individuals the right to refuse public services that should be available to everyone to gays and lesbians.
In a 87-29 vote, the House passed the bill last month.
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