Kansas bill to deny service to gay couples killed in Senate

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A bill which would have allowed religious business owners to refuse service to same-sex couples in the state of Kansas, has been killed.

The Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Jeff King, a Republican, squashed House Bill 2453, despite that it had been approved by the House last week.

The state’s Republican controlled House of Representatives passed the measure 72-49 last Wednesday.

Despite killing this bill, King told the AP that his committee would hear other religious liberty protections in future.

The bill’s supporters have argued adamantly that the bill only applies to weddings, and wedding celebrations, and businesses therein, such as florists, bakeries and other wedding-related companies.

Its opponents, however, have said that its wording could be applied much more widely to legitimise discrimination against gay couples.

HB 2453 specifically says no individual, business or religious group with “sincerely held religious beliefs”, will be required to offer “any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges, provide counseling, adoption, foster care and other social services; or provide employment or employment benefits” which relate to any marriage or domestic partnership.

A similar bill was earlier this month introduced in the US state of Arizona which would allow “license to discriminate” against LGBT people, if there was a religious motivation.