Religion

Atheists Attack Kansas Governor For Allowing LGBT Discrimination

| by Maura Turcotte

The Supreme Court may have ruled same-sex marriage legal last month, but the debate rages on.

For example, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is finding himself under fire after issuing an executive order preventing the state from punishing religious groups who do not want to participate in same-sex weddings, reports the Christian Examiner.

“Today’s executive order protects Kansas clergy and religious organizations from being forced to participate in activities that violate their sincerely and deeply held beliefs,” the Republican governor said in a statement, reports The Washington Post.

Shortly after Brownback announced the order, the group Freedom From Religion Foundation criticized the Kansas governor for his decision.

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"Brownback tries to order the state government not to 'take any discriminatory action against a religious organization' that refuses to provide services for gay marriages. This appears to be directed at religious bakers and florists, giving them carte blanche to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals,” the advocacy group said in a statement.

According to Christian Examiner, FFRF further attacked Brownback’s religious beliefs, stating, "Notice that he labels a state action that enforces anti-discrimination laws a 'discriminatory action.' Only in the religious mind of a man who thinks that we need to 'collectively repent of distancing ourselves from God' can such contradictions thrive. And only would someone who believes they are acting on behalf of an omnipotent dictator think they have the right to impose that 'mind forg'd manacle' on everyone else."

By contrast, just one state over, the opposite situation has occurred. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has ordered the state’s agencies to “immediately take all necessary measures” to observe the recent Supreme Courth decision. He also called on lawmakers to expand upon anti-discrimination laws in order to cover the lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual communities, according to KSN.

While many have praised the Missouri governor’s action, several groups criticized the order for infringing on religious liberties.

“It is a disgrace that some reasonable accommodation can’t be made,” Don Hinkle, director of public policy for the Missouri Baptist Convention told KSN. “We are terribly disappointed that our governor does not seem to have any sympathy.”

Neither governor has yet to respond to their critics.

Sources: Christian Examiner, The Washington Post, AP via KSN / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr