In a bid to keep the state of Kansas from recognizing same-sex marriages, state lawmakers are pushing one bill that labels such unions as “parody marriages” and another that would create an “elevated marriage” for straight couples.
The public disapproval of same-sex marriage from some Republican lawmakers comes just months after voters elected the state’s first openly gay lawmakers and less than two weeks after the introduction of a bill that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT individuals statewide.
The anti-gay marriage bills stand virtually no chance of becoming law. Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s first official act in office was to restore non-discrimination protections for LGBT state workers, and she would almost certainly veto such a bill.
Even if the bill became law, it would face immediate legal challenge, as a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling made same-sex marriage legal across the land.
Still, Republicans seem bent on diminishing same-sex unions.
“Their marriage probably doesn’t affect me – their union or whatever you want to call it. But in my opinion, they’re trying to force their beliefs on society,” said Rep. Randy Garber, a Sabetha Republican and the bill’s lead sponsor.
One of the bills describes sexual orientation as a “mythology.”
Democratic Rep. Susan Ruiz, the first lesbian to serve openly as a Kansas state lawmaker, said she was “very disappointed” by the measures.
“I see who the co-sponsors are and I sit with a couple of them in committee and I’m certainly going to talk to them about that and say, hey, I don’t know if you know about it or not, but I’m not a myth… Am I a unicorn?”
Garber’s bills have just six or seven co-sponsors.