Opinion Columns & Blogs

State lawmakers warned about discrimination


Despite concerns by the Kansas Board of Regents and objections by student government associations and school administrators, the Legislature and Gov. Sam Brownback approved a law last year enabling college campus religious groups to require that members adhere to their religious beliefs and standards. Bill opponents argued that this could enable student groups to use public money to discriminate, but supporters thought it was a pressing problem that needed solving. The other shoe dropped last week, as California banned state-funded travel to Kansas after deciding the law was discriminatory toward gay people. Some lawmakers seemed stunned that anyone could interpret the law that way, even though they were warned repeatedly. So far they have heeded similar warnings against passing a transgender bathroom bill, though Rep. John Whitmer, R-Wichita, introduced a new bill last week. – Phillip Brownlee