Kansas’ new governor has signed back into law anti-discrimination measures for LGBTI workers employed by the state government.
Governor Laura Kelly made it illegal again to discriminate against LGBTI government workers.
Her predecessor, Sam Brownback, overturned anti-discrimination laws in 2015. He overturned the laws in the same year the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality. At the time of the ruling Brownback said marriage equality created a new ‘protected class’.
Kelly signed the executive order on her first full day in the governor’s office. She vowed to reintroduce the laws during her gubernatorial campaign.
‘As I have said numerous times before, discrimination of any kind has no place in Kansas and it will not be tolerated in this administration,’ Kelly said as reported in the Kansas City Star.
‘We will ensure that state workers feel safe and supported in their working environment.’
Kelly became the first Democrat elected to the governor’s office in Kansas since 2009.
LGBTI groups in Kansas welcomed the executive order.
‘It’s an important message to businesses and everybody else in Kansas that this is going to be a place where fairness and equality are valued and promoted,’ said Tom Witt, director of Equality Kansas.
But some Republicans were not so happy with the governor’s decision. State Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook said it was ‘degrading to reduce individuals’ to their ‘sexual inclinations’.
‘These laws cause divisions in communities and can have serious detrimental and unintended consequences because of their subjective nature,’ she told the Associated Press.