Hundreds of Kansans protested against Gov. Sam Brownback today in a rally held at the state capitol building. From the Topeka Capitol-Journal:
Organizers in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community arranged the protest on short notice after Gov. Sam Brownback announced Tuesday that he would rescind an executive order issue by former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius that prevented some state employees from being fired on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Brownback framed the issue as an attempt to make sure all state employees had the same protections. Kansas law prohibits discrimination based on religion, race, gender and some other categories. To Tom Witt, executive director of Equality Kansas, removing the protection not only threatens some employees’ livelihoods, but insults them and their work for the state. “(Brownback) told every one of them that is L, G, B or T, ‘I don’t value you,’” he said. Witt urged the crowd to continue protesting and to support HB 2323, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s anti-discrimination laws. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. John Carmichael, D-Wichita, spoke during the rally about how Kansas and the United States have expanded equality over time to women, racial minorities, immigrants and people with disabilities. “Our law still allows Kansans to be fired for who they love,” he said.
(Tipped by JMG reader Michael)