Bill that would allow Kansas businesses to discriminate against gay couples passes the House.

Remember that bill in Kansas that would allow businesses to discriminate against gay couples as long as they did it for religious reasons?  It passed the House.

The House’s 72-49 vote Wednesday sends the measure to the Senate.

Supporters describe it as a religious freedom measure.

Opponents contend it will encourage discrimination against gays and lesbians.

The bill would bar government sanctions when individuals, groups and businesses cite religious beliefs in refusing to recognize a marriage or civil union, or to provide goods, services, accommodations or employment benefits to a couple. Anti-discrimination lawsuits also would be barred. Individual workers and government employees also would get some protections.

The measure is a response to the possibility that the federal courts could invalidate the state constitution’s ban on same-sex marriages.

Yes, because the courts might make bans on same-sex marriage illegal but give a big “meh” to bills which condone discrimination.  Good call.  And didn’t the Republicans all run on a platform of creating jobs?  They probably meant after they politically punish the out groups of tribes from thousands of years ago.

There’s a reason you don’t get to hang “Whites Only” signs above your business’s water fountains so long as you do it for religious reasons: because in America discrimination is against the law and your religion doesn’t earn you immunity to our laws.  Bigotry is bigotry whether it wears a cross or not.  The freedom to make second class citizens of other Americans is afforded to nobody in this country.  The notion that this bill is to protect religious freedom is preposterous since religious people never had the right to ignore the laws they don’t like.

In that same vein, you don’t get to do “Straights Only” either if you want to run a business in America.  Discrimination against gays is no different from discrimination against black people, and in neither case are you impervious to laws which prevent discrimination just because you’re a bigot for religious reasons.  It’s not like it’s bad to discriminate because your parents drilled it into you but ok to discriminate if the bible drilled it into you.  Being a racist/homophobe is no more special because you listened to the scribbles of an ancient people than for any other reason.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.