A Kansas politician has consistently voted against equal rights for LGBTQ people, but now activists say she’s actively trying to get them fired.
LGBTQ advocates have called on Olathe City Council member Karin Brownlee to resign after she approached employers of citizens lobbying for a nondiscrimination ordinance, according to The Kansas City Star.
“Her actions will have a chilling effect on citizens speaking up and speaking out,” said Brett Hoedl, chairman of Equality Kansas Metro Kansas City chapter. Hoedl said Brownlee actually approached his employer and raised the subject of his activism.
“What signal was she sending to the company?” Hoedl said.
“I don’t care where you fall under the political spectrum, this should frighten anyone. Karin has been in elected office over two decades. She knows how unethical this is.”
Hoedl works at Black and Veatch, an engineering firm, and said in a Facebook post that his employer supports him, according to the Associated Press.
For her part, Brownlee characterized the conversation as a casual one at a social event.
“When stories are told, there’s more than one version often, details can differ, and I’m not going to dwell on that,” Brownlee said. “I will just say that I wish the best to the Hoedl family and to Brett and his work. I know we as a city are very pleased to work with his employer, and we certainly want that to go forward in the best possible manner.”
Brownlee voted against a resolution promoting diversity and equality in Olathe. As a state senator in 2005, she supported a ban on same-sex marriage in Kansas.