Post submitted by Adrian Matanza, Former HRC Regional Field Director

Opponent of equality in Kansas introduced House Bill 2453 seeking to protect religious entities, but in reality this bill would permit widespread discrimination against LGBT Kansans. If Kansas were to adopt this law, any individual who objected to same-sex relationships could refuse to provide services and employment benefits to same-sex couples and could ignore all same-sex relationships. Those services could include everything from restaurant service for an anniversary celebration to adoption, hospital decision making, access to homeless shelters, and tax assistance and could impinge upon nearly every area of a couples lives.

No state in the country has a law like this and is virtually limitless in scope. As written, this bill would be a significant burden on companies that want to operate without a constant threat of liability and litigation. For example, it could allow an employer to violate company policy by refusing to provide benefits to employees. An employer would have no recourse, and potentially face employee attrition and even backlash from customers. The businesses may even be on the hook for unwittingly violating federal laws that require equal treatment of all married couples.

Filed under: Marriage, Community

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