Kansas gives LGBTQ a bite out of the equality apple

I wasn’t born like you. I don’t agree with you. I don’t like the same people as you, but we have the same bills to pay. Does that mean I shouldn’t work with you?

This question is distressed upon thousands of people who are trying to live their everyday lives. Searching for employment can be a challenging adventure that everyone must face at one time or another. Unfortunately, for thousands of Americans, job hunting has also been an opportunity to practice acting. Many have been forced to pretend to be something that they weren’t. People were asked to “act straight” in the work place if they weren’t.

Kansas governor, Laura Kelly, signed an order on Jan. 15 that provides the LGBTQ community with protections from workplace harassment. The act covers all employees of the state and those who do business with the state.

“I was glad to see that Laura Kelly made this one of her first priorities. This ban should not have gone into effect during Brownback term,” said Laura Lightfoot, a Kansas native and senior psychology major. “It should not be legal to discriminate others based on sexuality. This is a step forward for Kansas.”

The previous governor, Sam Brownback, initiated that the state of Kansas should have the right to discriminate against anyone. Brownback also stripped Kansas public schools from necessary funding.

Kelly displayed an eager and valiant act when she decided that she would extend the nondiscrimination protection laws to the LGBTQ community. She promised that she would have that order passed before she sat in her office chair.

“I am planning to actually have that executive order drafted before I take office so that as soon as it’s possible to do that, I will reinstate that,” Kelly said.

Equality is something that many people have been striving to achieve for generations.

Rene Renteria, Kansas native and junior psychology major, is a member of the LGBTQ community. Renteria believes this law is highly important.

“As a gay, that’s great. But for me, sexual orientation in the work place shouldn’t be a big deal or a topic of conversation,” Renteria said. “In terms of working in the field of mental health, I think it’s very significant to have a future psychologist in the LGBTQ community, because there are so many people who struggle with that. I do feel fortunate enough that I am very comfortable with my sexuality. I am very fortunate for that because I have seen how much distress that can cause when that’s not the case.”

The Kansas LGBTQ community appreciates Kelly’s assertiveness and can only hope that the state will continue to thrive with the beauty and diversity that people have to offer each other.