LGBTQ Allies Rally For Equality Outside Kansas Statehouse

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TOPEKA, Kansas (WIBW) -- Individuals from Kansas and all over the United States gathered in front of the Kansas statehouse Tuesday morning to promote equality.

The crowd gathered for Equality Day and protested against a recently considered House bill that would allow businesses and individuals, based on religious beliefs, to refuse services to gays.

"It would allow people to discriminate against us, legally. To legally exclude us and that's not okay, that's not American," protest organizer Ryan Wilks told 13 News. "We already saw that in the civil rights movement and women's suffrage, and it is not okay to do that."

Protesters say that although the bill is dead in Kansas, the fight for equality is not over.

"Just because it's dead now does not mean it's not going to be proposed again or drafted into a larger bill or amended," Wilks said. "We don't want that, we want the Kansas legislation to know that this will not happen in Kansas as long as the people have anything to do with it."

Jen Harris, another organizer, said that they are gathering for everyone, not just homosexuals.

"Our resounding message is that our sexuality is inconsequential to our character, and ultimately we are here because people deserve equal rights. There's no question across any board. This is not an attack on religion, it's not an attack on family values or social traditions, this is about equality and it's about everybody as a whole."

The group protested, gave speeches and chanted until noon. Another protest inside of the Capitol took place at 1 p.m. Harris and Wilks said that while there are many passionate people working with lawmakers inside the statehouse, they felt it's important to show up in numbers outside as well.