Our Mission is to
End Discrimination Based on
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
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Non-Discrimination Bill Approved by Senate Committee![ Posted Thursday Feb 4 2010, 11:00 pm by Thomas Witt ]
Great news, once again! Our non-discrimination bill, SB169, has again been approved by the Kansas Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee.
Thanks to all of you who were here at the Capitol today to show your support, and thanks to all of you who have worked so hard over the years to get this bill moved out of committee.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE! Send a hand-written thank-you note to those senators who voted with us today. It means a lot to them when they hear from us, especially on these votes that stir up the radical right. All mail should be sent to:
Kansas State Capitol
300 SW 10th
Topeka, KS 66612
and should be addressed to the individual senators' office numbers:
Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau: Room 124E
Senator Marci Francisco: Room 134E
Senator Pete Brungardt: Room 136E
Senator Roger Reitz: Room 235E
Senator Tim Owens: Room 559S
Here's our full media statement:
Feb 4, 2009 -- Topeka, Kans. -- Senate Bill 169, adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to Kansas’ current non-discrimination statute, was referred favorably, on a five to three vote, to the full Senate for consideration. Current Kansas law prohibits workplace discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin or ancestry.
“This is another significant step in bringing fairness and equality to all Kansans,” said Thomas Witt, the Equality Coalition’s chairman. On behalf of all our members, and indeed the larger community of LGBT Kansans, I extend my deepest appreciation and thanks to the Senators who have so vocally supported this bill,” said Witt.
The bill, carried over from the 2009 legislative session, has previously been recommended by the committee for passage, but was returned to the committee last year. Voting in favor of referring the non-discrimination measure were Committee Chairman Pete Brungardt (R-Salina), and Senators Roger Reitz (R-Manhattan), Tim Owens (R-Overland Park), Marci Francisco (D-Lawrence), and Oletha Faust-Goudeau (D-Wichita). Voting in opposition were Senators Dennis Pyle (R-Hiawatha), Steve Abrams (R-Arkansas City), and Ralph Ostmeyer (R-Grinnell).
“I hope that when this bill goes to the Senate floor for debate, the Senators will do the right thing and respect the values of a large majority of Kansans, most of whom agree that discrimination against gays and lesbians is wrong.” said Jason Chaika of the Equality Coalition’s Topeka chapter.
In 2007, then-Governor Kathleen Sebelius added, by executive order, similar protections for employees of Kansas state government. “We need to make sure all our employees are treated with dignity and respect and that the doors of employment are open to all,” said Sebelius upon signing the order.
Independent nonpartisan polling conducted by Jayhawk Consulting Services, in January of 2008 supports that an overwhelming majority of Kansans (79%) agree that it is wrong to fire someone for being gay or lesbian. Furthermore, the same research indicated that 68% of Kansans favor legislation banning discrimination against gay and lesbian Kansans.
Our mission is to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and to ensure the dignity, safety and legal equality of all Kansans.