New Kansas Law Legalizes Discrimination Against LGBT Individuals

| by Ethan Brown
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Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) removed a state law stating that employers are not allowed to discriminate in hiring based on the applicant’s sexual orientation and gender identity.

The previous law, created by former state Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) in 2007, did not allow any companies or government agencies to discriminate against any potential gay and lesbian employees or those already serving in the workplace.

After signing the new bill into law, Gov. Brownback said that the new legislation, “ensures that state employees enjoy the same civil rights as all Kansans without creating additional ‘protected classes’ as the previous order did.”

Many LGBT groups in the state were clearly upset by the new law, describing it as “foul, reckless, and shameful.”

Thomas Witt, the director of Equality Kansas was worried about LGBT state employees who have already revealed their sexual orientation to others being discriminated against, now that it is technically legal to do so.

“If you work for the state and have felt comfortable being 'out' at work knowing you had protection from bigotry, that protection is gone," Witt said.

While Gov. Brownback removed the protections of the LGBT community, he reiterated his support to protect workers from discrimination based on race, gender and religion.

After mismanaging the state’s budget and funds since first being elected in 2010, Gov. Brownback has received much criticism from both parties in his state, a state which voted for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama by 22 points in 2012. In his 2014 reelection bid, Brownback narrowly defeated his Democratic opponent by just four percentage points.

Sources: CNN, KMBC, the New York Times

Photo Credit: the Washington Post, KMBC