One of my recurring themes is the unique burdens California law imposes on employers. Because I know how different our laws are here, it’s hard to shock me on that subject.
Or so I thought until I read Mark Stern’s piece in Slate about the Kansas House of Representatives passing H.B. 2453. Stern reports that the statute heads next to the state senate and then to the governor, both of whom apparently support the measure.
Among other things, H.B. 2453 allows any individual to refuse to provide services to a gay person if doing so would violate a sincerely held religious belief. This not only applies to store clerks, but also to doctors, nurses, firefighters, and police officers — all of whom now have a legal right to refuse to provide service to gay people. And if they’re sued in any tribunal, according to the law, they can transfer the dispute to state court, have it dismissed, and collect their attorneys’ fees.
I’m glad I don’t have any sincerely held religious beliefs that require me to discriminate. Also, while I complain mightily (and with good cause) about some of our state’s employment laws, I’m glad to live in a state where a law like H.B. 2453 is seen as ridiculously offensive.