UPDATE: A commenter has pointed out that the extracts I posted are misleading. This is not yet law, and may not become law.


The law empowers any individual or business to refuse to interact with, do business with, or in any way come into contact with anyone who may have some connection to a gay civil union, or civil marriage or … well any “similar arrangement” (room-mates?). It gives the full backing of the law to any restaurant or bar-owner who puts up a sign that says “No Gays Served”. It empowers employees of the state government to refuse to interact with gay citizens as a group. Its scope is vast: it allows anyone to refuse to provide “services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges; counseling, adoption, foster care and other social services; or provide employment or employment benefits” to anyone suspected of being complicit in celebrating or enabling the commitment of any kind of a gay couple.

But as Sullivan suggests it’s likely to backfire:

It’s a misstep because it so clearly casts the anti-gay movement as the heirs to Jim Crow. If you want to taint the Republican right as nasty bigots who would do to gays today what Southerners did to segregated African-Americans in the past, you’ve now got a text-book case. The incidents of discrimination will surely follow, and, under the law, be seen to have impunity. Someone will be denied a seat at a lunch counter. The next day, dozens of customers will replace him. The state will have to enforce the owner’s right to refuse service. You can imagine the scenes. Or someone will be fired for marrying the person they love. The next day, his neighbors and friends will rally around.

One thought on “Kansas

  1. Whoa, there. Just to be clear: it is just a bill that passed the House, it is _not_ a _law_. This is my first year in Kansas, but my take on it is that it is a kind of political stunt that is quite common here. I do know that there is absolutely no expectation or possibility that it will pass the Kansas Senate. (There are many news articles quoting the Kansas Senate President on this; Huffington Post had one a day ago.)

    I would also point out the irony in using the photograph of a sit-in in another state at the bottom of the article: one of the early drugstore sit-ins, predating Greensboro, even, was in Wichita, Kansas (Dockum Drugstore Sit In).

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