Shawnee Mission area lawmakers lead effort on statewide LGBTQ protections

Reps. Susan Ruiz and Brandon Woodard introduced a bill in the House that would provide legal protections for LGBTQ Kansans. Photo credit office of Rep. Brandon Woodard.

Reps. Brandon Woodard and Susan Ruiz led an effort to introduce HB 2130 a bill in the House this week that would provide legal protections for LGBTQ residents in Kansas. Sen. Barbara Bollier is pushing a companion bill, SB 84, in the senate.

Woodard, Ruiz and Bollier joined with Equality Kansas Executive Director Tom Witt for a press conference announcing the bills at the capitol on Monday, where they said the legislation would protection LGBTQ individuals from being fired for a job or denied housing on account of their sexual orientation or gender.

The bill has 38 co-sponsors in the House and 17 in the Senate. Here are the Shawnee Mission area representatives who have signed on as co-sponsors for the bills:

  • Rep. Susan Ruiz (D)
  • Rep. Brandon Woodard (D)
  • Rep. Tom Cox (R)
  • Rep. Stephanie Clayton (D)
  • Rep. Cindy Holscher (D)
  • Rep. Jan Kessinger (R)
  • Rep. Nancy Lusk (D)
  • Rep. Cindy Neighbor (D)
  • Rep. Brett Parker (D)
  • Rep. Jerry Stogsdill (D)
  • Rep. Rui Xu (D)
  • Sen. Barbara Bollier (D)
  • Sen. Pat Pettey (D)
  • Sen. John Skubal (R)
  • Sen. Dinah Sykes (D)

Prairie Village, Mission and Merriam have followed Roeland Park’s lead and taken up city-level non-discrimination ordinances offering legal protections to LGBTQ residents and employees in recent months. Proponents of those city-level efforts have pointed to the state legislature’s lack of action on the issue as part of the motivation for adding new municipal-level laws.

The leaders of other large Shawnee Mission area cities said they have had preliminary discussions about non-discrimination ordinances or are monitoring how the issue proceeds at the city and state level to determine next steps. Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach indicated he expected the governing body to discuss an NDO sometime in 2019.