Kansas' Anti-Gay Religious Liberty Bill Looks Doomed

Senate leader says controversial House measure won't pass
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2014 5:51 PM CST
Kansas Senate president Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, says the bill won't pass her chamber as is.   (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

(Newser) – A controversial bill in Kansas that gives individuals and businesses the right to refuse service to gay people on religious liberty grounds looks to be doomed, reports the Kansas City Star. The measure—read it in full here—passed the Republican-controlled House and immediately triggered howls of protest from around the nation. In the Daily Beast, for example, Jamelle Bouie writes that it's not a stretch to liken it to Jim Crow laws. "Like its Southern predecessors, this proposal is meant to isolate and stigmatize a despised minority, under of the guise of some higher priority ('religious liberty')."

But the measure doesn't appear to have a chance in the state Senate. Its Republican president, Susan Wagle, said that while her members "support laws that define traditional marriage," they "don't condone discrimination." What's more, the state's business community also sided with opponents, reports the Topeka Capital-Journal, which says the legislation will have to be "substantially reworked." (In Virginia, meanwhile, a judge struck down the state's ban on gay marriages.)

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