(Originally posted by Equality Kansas to Equality Kansas News
The Kansas Legislature has killed, delayed, or refused to address proactive LGBT bills this year.
While the extreme-right is busy introducing vile, hateful bills attacking LGBT Kansans, and despite growing support among both Republicans and Democrats for fair treatment for our community, House and Senate leadership have ignored their own elected members and our increasingly vocal and visible community.
In the Senate, 18 Republican and Democratic members co‑sponsored a bill adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the Kansas Act Against Discrimination. It takes only 21 senators to pass a bill, yet SB84 wasn’t even given the courtesy of a hearing. Senate leadership instead sent it to a committee to die.
In the House of Representatives, where 38 Democratic and Republican state representatives co-sponsored the non-discrimination bill introduced by our first two openly-LGBT legislators, we have also been denied a hearing.
Our bill repealing Kansas’ unconstitutional criminalization of same-sex relationships was voted favorably out of committee, but House leadership refused to let it come up for a vote. Instead, they killed it at the end of February with no reason, no justification, and no explanation.
Our bill banning dangerous and discredited “conversion therapy” of minors was referred to a committee controlled by the radical-right, and was never given a hearing.
Our bill reversing the cruel Brownback-era policy that has blocked transgender Kansans from amending their birth certificates has not been given a hearing.
It’s time to demand action from our elected officials. It’s time to demand respect from the politicians who claim to be our leaders.
Pick up the phone and call. Send an email. Drop a personal, hand-written note in the mail. Tell legislative leadership it’s time to respect the Kansas LGBT community, bring our bills up for hearings, and let our elected senators and representatives vote on these issues.
Senate President Susan Wagle
Statehouse office: 333-E
Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning
Statehouse office: 330-E
Senate Vice-President Jeff Longbine
Statehouse office: Room 341-E
Speaker of the House Ron Ryckman
Phone: 785 296-2302
Statehouse office: Room 370-W
House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins
Phone: 785 296-7662
Statehouse office: 372-W
Speaker Pro-Tem Blaine Finch
Phone: 785 291-3500
Statehouse office: 381-W
Rep. John Barker, Chair, House Federal and State Affairs Committee
(Note: Chairman Barker has been supportive of our issues. Please thank him for his support, and ask him to push for hearings on our bills)
Phone: 785 296-7674
Statehouse office: 285-N
Send letters to individual offices at the Kansas Statehouse, 300 SW 10th Street, Topeka, KS 66612