Yael T. Abouhalkah

Surprise! Kansas GOP leader pushes back against anti-gay bill

Updated: 2014-02-16T00:20:55Z

By Yael T. Abouhalkah

The Kansas City Star

Congratulations to Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle. In what passes as a big political surprise, the Republican politician may help save the tattered reputation of the state after all.

On Thursday, Wagle said she did not support a bill passed by the Kansas House earlier this week to allow discrimination against gay people, especially couples.

Wagle defended “traditional marriage” between a man and a woman in a statement, but fortunately added: “However, my members also don’t condone discrimination.”

The measure properly has received an avalanche of national negative publicity, making Kansas legislators look bigoted and out of touch with modern life.

Which, alas, too many of them are based on their votes.

The House members should be ashamed for what they approved in a rushed vote.

Besides Wagle, it would be nice for Gov. Sam Brownback to come out publicly and say he refuses to back this bill as well.

Wagle said the measure — which would allow private businesses and some government employees to discriminate against same-sex couples — went too far.

Indeed, it does.

The bill is trapped in ridiculous language that tries to legally “protect” people who refuse to provide services on “religious grounds.”

Please. That’s simply an excuse for the state to sanction homophobic beliefs.

Good luck to Wagle, and other senators, in shooting down this bad idea.

The rest of the Senate should follow her lead.

To reach Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/YaelTAbouhalkah.

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