Gay Adoptions At Risk, Blame Kansas’ Brownback’s Executive Office Order
The always ulta-conservative Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) issued an executive order?that tries to turn the new Supreme Court take on same-sex marriage on its head. Brownback’s order keeps state government from prosecuting clergy members or religious organizations that deny services to couples based upon religious beliefs.
Adoption Agencies Exempt
Just one example of his order’s reach: it protects religious organizations that provide adoptions for the state from placing children with gay couples.
Brownback released a statement Tuesday, July 7, 2015, that said:
?We have a duty to govern and to govern in accordance with the Constitution as it has been determined by the Supreme Court decision. We also recognize that religious liberty is at the heart of who we are as Kansans and Americans, and should be protected.?
Brownback?s order is in direct conflict with the U.S. Supreme Court?s ruling in June that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage.?His order protects:
?Kansas clergy and religious organizations from being forced to participate in activities that violate their sincerely and deeply held beliefs.?
Brownback?s executive order carries the weight of law. Of course, it can be withdrawn by a future administration. Earlier this year, he cancelled out former Democrat Gov. Kathleen Sebelius? executive order protecting gay state workers from discrimination.
Gay Adoptions At Risk
Micah Kubic, executive director of the Kansas chapter of the ACLU, said that the order protects ?social services or charitable services,? beyond the wedding ceremony. It means:
?..a homeless shelter that received a state contract or grant could refuse family housing to a gay couple with a child, or a foster care agency could refuse to place a child in their custody with the child?s family member just because the family member was in a same-sex relationship ? and the state could not require them to treat all families equally.?
Executive Office Order
The governor?s executive office order came the same day that state workers were told their same-sex spouses could be added to their health plans.
Kansas family law expert Ron Nelson noted that Brownback?s strategy is like what the southern states used to resist desegregation in the 1950’s and 1960’s. He said,
?This is the same technique that southern states tried to use to frustrate Brown v. Board of Education.?
Tom Witt is the executive director of Equality Kansas, a gay rights organization. He claims Brownback?s strategy included a dual same-day announcment. The governor’s second announcement gives same-sex spouses of state workers access to their spouses? health plans.
?The governor clearly has no respect for gay and lesbian Kansans and this is his way of saying that. Instead of welcoming us to first-class citizenship along with everyone else in this state he sends out this executive order that basically says, too bad.
?There is a great passion here that we need some religious freedom protection not just for churches but for Christian business owners.?
More Hobby Lobby
Brownback used the term, ?Religious organization,? which could possibly extend beyond churches to businesses such as Hobby Lobby. The Supreme Court?s? 2014 ruling said a company such as this has First Amendment rights.
Oh great. Brownback’s personal religious beliefs are once again leading us back to the dark ages.