Kansas Republican threatens to push anti-gay bill just hours after Orlando attack against LGBT community
It has only been a few days since a terrorist targeted LGBT people in an Orlando night club, but that isn’t stopping Kansas Republicans from pushing anti-gay legislation that would force trans school children to use bathrooms that don’t match their gender identity.
The Kansas City Star reports state Rep. John Whitmer drafted the legislation, which he may push during a special legislative session in which state lawmakers try and prevent Kansas public schools from closing.
“It’s my intention at this point not to run it. … That being said, if people start taking us off in other directions and if they start ‘Christmas treeing’ things up, then I will run mine,” Whitmer said. “If the Dems start trying to muck us up, then I’ll do the same.”
The state Supreme Court has threatened to close all public schools over funding inequities, an issue lawmakers are set to address in the upcoming special session. They have until June 30 to fix the issue, in which the court rules the state unfairly doles out resources between rich and poor school districts.
The crisis comes as the state struggles with a budget gap created by deep tax cuts initiated by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.
Lawmakers agreed they are hoping to simply address the school closure issue and nothing else, given their short deadline in addressing the funding issue to prevent schools from being shuttered next academic year.
“It would be irresponsible for us to close schools in Kansas because the Legislature is in a fight over who uses what bathroom,” Rep. John Carmichael, a Democrat, told the Star.
In the early hours on Sunday morning, more than 100 people were killed or wounded when a gunman opened fire at Pulse, a gay nightclub. Forty-nine of those who were shot died in an attack in the biggest mass shooting in U.S. history, which targeted the LGBT community.