This bill passed the House and will easily make its way through the Senate and the Governor's signature. But what does Kansas stand to gain in its bigotry through this bill? They already have a constitutional ban on marriage equality. Shouldn't that be enough for them?
Not so. Remember Oklahoma and Utah? Federal courts nullified their constitutional bans (and while they fight, it's not a battle they're going to win). This goes beyond the constitutional ban. It's a layer of bigoted dickery that's designed to make life suck for gay people throughout the state even if the constitutional ban is overturned.
So what's this mean? It means legalized protection of anti-gay discrimination based on an interpretation of the first amendment and religious free-dumb. You'll no longer have to allow gay people to purchase things in stores you own if being gay is against your "sincerely held religious beliefs." Hotels can refuse to give rooms to gay couples. Movie theaters, restaurants, and other businesses can turn gay people away at the door. Marriage counselors will not be required to counsel gay couples. Foster care services? Right of refusal. Adoption and other social services? Free to say no on the basis of "Ew, you're gay."
If you try to sue because this is discriminatory? Not only do you lose, but you have to pay the defendant's attorney's fees. Nor can the government step in - if it tries, it also has to pay the attorney's fees.
Here's the kicker. Governmental and religious workers who hate gay people can refuse to do their jobs and their employers have to find someone else to do it. So it's not just the pharmacist who will be able to refuse to give you your birth control or other medication, but your local DMV worker who refuses to process your driver's license renewal because you "look" gay who is not only legally protected here, but legally considered in the right.
If an individual employed by a governmental entity or other nonreligious
entity invokes any of the protections provided by section 1, and
amendments thereto, as a basis for declining to provide a lawful service
that is otherwise consistent with the entity's duties or policies, the
individual's employer, in directing the performance of such service,
shall either promptly provide another employee to provide such service, or
shall otherwise ensure that the requested service is provided, if it can be
done without undue hardship to the employer.
And the employer doesn't have to find someone else to do it if it would require "undue hardship to do." Sorry, our DMV only staffs bigots. You'll have to get your license renewed elsewhere.
It's a brave new world in Kansas when this passes, folks. I'm not afraid to say it - this is Gay Jim Crow. Pure and simple. It's trying to bring Jim Crow back with a new target.
[Source - Slate.com - "Kansas anti-gay segregation bill is an abomination"]