Kansas, Welcome to the Era of a Liberal Governor
Yesterday morning, in her first official act as governor, Laura Kelly reinstated an executive order that adds unnecessary classifications to government employment policies, dividing Kansans and threatening our most dearly held values. The order goes beyond what was previously in place and what the media is selling simply as protections for state employees. Instead, it holds contractors and sub-contractors (anyone who does business with the state) to the governor’s personal brand of bias and is a direct attack on religious freedom. If you have a deeply-held religious belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman, for example, Laura Kelly is saying you can no longer do business with Kansas.
The original executive order was instituted during Kathleen Sebelius’ tenure but was rescinded in 2015 by then-governor Sam Brownback. This order requires that the government not discriminate when hiring on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, two designations that are not recognized in any other part of Kansas state code or regulations.
Instead of allowing the legislature to create law in alignment with the will of the people, Governor Kelly has taken it upon herself to create law unilaterally that is out of step with the people. As I asked Governor Kelly in a press release yesterday, “Is there evidence your own administration is engaging in discriminatory activity, or is this an executive order in search of a problem?”
In reality, there is reason to believe this action is intended to strip protections for faith-based adoption agencies. Governor Kelly has called the Adoption Protection Act (which protects faith-based adoption agencies) passed by the legislature last year the “Adoption Discrimination Act,” pledging to do whatever she can to repeal it or ignore it. It’s clear that she’s coming after the faith-based community with all she has, which is why we need your help. We will keep a close eye this legislative session on the Governor’s actions during the legislative session to protect the religious freedom for all Kansans. We stand with you!
Director of Advocacy