One of the big wins for women Tuesday was Democrat Laura Kelly’s election to the Kansas gubernatorial seat. But her triumph was also a giant step in the right direction for LGBTQ people as she bested deeply anti-LGBTQ Republican rival Kris Kobach. Now one of the governor-elect’s first moves will be to reinstate the protections for LGBTQ state workers that a homophobic earlier Kansas governor, Sam Brownback, rescinded following the national marriage equality ruling in 2015.
“This announcement by Governor-Elect Kelly is the latest sign of momentum in the growing trend of support for nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans. By reinstating this executive order, Governor-Elect Kelly is telling the LGBTQ people of her state that she cares and that there’s a governor who once again has their back,” Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans, said in a press release.
Kansas is currently one of 31 states that lacks a comprehensive nondiscrimination law that explicitly protects LGBTQ people, the release stated.
Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, has said that polygamy and drug use are omparable to marriage equality and that same-sex parents are “not good for kids,” and he accused the Human Rights Campaign of promoting pedophilia, according to GLAAD.
“We have seen immense progress recently affirming that Americans believe in equality under the law. Discrimination has no place in our country and because of Governor-Elect Kelly, LGBTQ state employees in Kansas will no longer need to fear being fired or harassed because of who they are or who they love,” Davis added.
Another sign that Kansas voters sought progress was Native American and lesbian politician Sharice Davids’s election to Congress over the Donald Trump-endorsed incumbent Kevin Yoder.
Kelly will be sworn in as governor January 14.