LGBTQ Nondiscrimination in Kansas:
There are currently no explicit, comprehensive statewide nondiscrimination protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people in Kansas.
The Latest on LGBTQ Nondiscrimination in Kansas:
Kansas lawmakers considered a number of bills related to LGBTQ nondiscrimination during the 2016 legislative session, including a bill to restrict restroom access for transgender students and a bill to allow businesses to refuse service to LGBTQ people. Despite the setbacks – including an anti-LGBTQ bill concerning student groups denying membership to LGBTQ students becoming law – the same session also saw the first-ever hearing in Kansas of a bill to extend nondiscrimination protections to include LGBTQ people.
History of Non-Discrimination Protections:
- August 31, 2007: Governor Kathleen Sebelius signs an executive order prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
- November 6, 2012: Voters in the cities of Salina and and Hutchinson vote to repeal local protections preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in their respective cities.
- January 2014: Kansas House Bill 2453 was introduced which would allow people motivated by religious opposition to same-sex relationships to refuse to provide services to same-sex couples. On February 12, the Kansas House of Representatives passed the legislation by a 72–49 vote. The Kansas Senate did not take up the legislation.
- February 10, 2015: The Kansas legislature introduces SB 157, which allows campus groups to discriminate by refusing participation for LGBT students and faculty members. It passes the Senate, and one year later passes the House. Governor Sam Brownback also rescinds former governor Sebelius’ executive order.
- January 13, 2016: House Bill 2323, which would amend state law to protect Kansans from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, is heard in the Committee on Judiciary, a burst of momentum for the fight to secure LGBTQ non-discrimination in Kansas.
- March 16, 2016: The Kansas legislature introduces HB 2737/SB 513, which would require K-12 and college students to use restrooms inconsistent with their gender identity. The bill is referred to the Committee on Federal and State Affairs but does not advance further.
- March 23, 2016: Governor Sam Brownback signs HB 157 into law, allowing student groups to deny membership to LGBTQ students and faculty members.
- May 18, 2018: Governor Jeff Colyer signs a discriminatory adoption bill into law, which allows private and publicly-funded adoption agencies to refuse to place a child with an LGBTQ person by claiming a religious or moral objection. This makes Kansas one of nine states with similar laws on the books.
- January 15, 2019: As her first order of business, newly elected Governor Laura Kelly signs an executive order protecting LGBTQ state employees and contractors from discrimination.
- December 3, 2019: The City of Olathe passes a comprehensive nondiscrimination ordinance by a vote of 4-3, which goes into effect immediately.
- December 15, 2020: Topeka, one of the state’s largest cities, passes a comprehensive nondiscrimination ordinance.
Municipalities with Non-Discrimination Protections:
The following municipalities protect people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity:
- City of Fairway
- City of Lawrence
- City of Leawood
- City of Lenexa
- City of Manhattan
- City of Merriam
- City of Mission
- City of Mission Hills
- City of Mission Woods
- City of Olathe
- City of Overland Park
- City of Prarie Village
- City of Roeland Park
- City of Shawnee
- City of Topeka
- City of Westwood
- City of Westwood Hills
- Kansas City-Wyandotte County
Last Updated January 05, 2021