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Religion Trumps Helping Sex Trafficked LGBT Youth

Religion Trumps Helping Sex Trafficked LGBT Youth

It just goes to show that even if an elected official carries a D after their name, it doesn’t mean they care at all about LGBT rights.

You see, this is Kansas. There are basically no repercussions for acting hateful toward people purely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. So I’m not that surprised to hear that Hutchinson Democratic Rep. Jan Pauls came out in opposition to adding sexual orientation to a nondiscrimination clause for safe houses for victims of human trafficking.

Jan Pauls thinks it should be OK for safehouses for victims of human trafficking to discriminate against members of the LGBT community. Wow. Just wow.

Equality Kansas (formerly the Kansas Equality Coalition) and the Kansas Democratic Party’s LGBT Caucus have rightly rebuked Pauls for her stance:

”We unequivocally condemn Representative Pauls’ position on this matter as cruel and inhumane,” said Thomas Witt, executive director of Equality Kansas. ”Children, teens, and young adults who are forced into prostitution are victims of horrific crimes, but Mrs. Pauls thinks that if they happen to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, refusing them treatment is just fine.”

”Once again, Rep. Pauls has targeted LGBT Kansans for unfair and discriminatory treatment,” said Ryon Carey, chairman of the Kansas Democratic Party’s LGBT Caucus. ”For over 20 years, Pauls has not missed an opportunity to wage war against fair treatment for all Kansans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” he said.

It’s true, Pauls has never been a friend to gay people in Kansas. Pauls wrote the state’s 1996 law banning same-sex marriage and was the primary supporter of the state’s constitutional amendment that does the same thing. (You can’t be too careful, I guess.) She also fought to keep sodomy illegal in Kansas, because I guess you can just ignore the Supreme Court when they get in the way of your bigotry.

Oh but wait! She’s not a bigot! She just wants to make sure that the nondiscrimination clause falls in line with the rest of state law. Color me skeptical. She’s made quite a track record for herself in the hating gays department. I don’t think her motives are so pure. Also, you know, religious organizations might not like it if they have to help those dirty homos.

According to the Topeka Capital-Journal:

Pauls, a lawyer, said during a hearing Tuesday she was concerned that including sexual orientation in the legal nondiscrimination clauses could prove problematic for religious organizations that wanted to sponsor safe houses. She said she didn’t believe any safe houses would deny victims access to initial treatment based on sexual orientation, but such organizations “might refuse if part of the follow-up treatment is to make the person comfortable in the alternative lifestyle they may have been forced into.”

I’m confused. What does she mean by follow-up treatment that would “make the person comfortable in the alternative lifestyle they have been forced into?” Does she think that being forced into sex slavery will make someone gay?

Maybe she’s confusing cause and effect. LGBT youth are far more likely to be homeless than their heterosexual counterparts, and homelessness is a risk factor for being funneled into human trafficking. According to the American Bar Association, 20 percent of homeless youth in the United States are LGBT, but almost 60 percent of them are sexually exploited. This is compared to the overall rate of 33.4 percent of heterosexual homeless youth that are at risk of sexual exploitation.

These kids are victims of crimes. If the state is going to regulate safe houses for these people, then it certainly better not be legal to discriminate against a population that is especially vulnerable to that type of exploitation. It’s cruel. If we want to help victims of trafficking, no one can be left out.

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Photo Credit: Imagens Evangélicas via Flickr

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152 comments

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6:16AM PST on Jan 18, 2014

she sucks these kids need all our support and understanding fek!

4:13AM PST on Jan 18, 2014

Sick world !

2:30PM PST on Jan 17, 2014

Thank God I'm not in Kansas, Toto, indeed.....

1:15PM PST on Jan 16, 2014

horrible.

5:16PM PST on Jan 15, 2014

"she was concerned that including sexual orientation in the legal nondiscrimination clauses could prove problematic for religious organizations that wanted to sponsor safe houses."

They aren't really going to be safe houses with that attitude. They will be houses to indoctrinate vulnerable youth... a.k.a. cult centres .

11:35AM PST on Jan 15, 2014

Jesus loves us, ya' know. Oh, yes...he does!

Well...unless you're a woman or gay or transgender or an abused child.

10:52PM PST on Jan 14, 2014

This makes me sick! To hate a human being just because of their sexual preference or because they're transgendered! So they don't deserve the same rights as the rest of us? Hang your head in shame Kansas! OMG!! Disgusting and horrible!!

9:47PM PST on Jan 14, 2014

I still have difficulty in understanding how someone can call themselves a Christian and still act so hateful to other people.

9:02PM PST on Jan 14, 2014

These are children. It's hard to believe that so many educated people feel this way!

11:49AM PST on Jan 14, 2014

i usually think it's always the repubs that are the freaky religious bigots , but the along comes a dem who is equal to them. reminds me that no matter your political you can still be bigoted , narrow minded , and just plain stupid . and she is so enlighten , obviously , i wasn't aware transgendered was a choice. i'm sorry but she is just plain stupid .

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