Next Kansas governor to reinstate LGBT protections for state workers

Next Kansas governor to reinstate LGBT protections for state workers
© Screenshot

Kansas governor-elect Laura Kelly (D) said Thursday that she plans to reinstate an executive order that issues protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender state employees. 

“I am planning to actually have an executive order drafted before I take office,” Kelly said at a news conference at the Kansas Capitol, according to The Kansas City Star. 

Kelly became the first Democrat to be elected Kansas governor since 2009 on Tuesday after defeating Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R). She will come into the role after serving in the Kansas state Senate for more than 10 years. 

The executive order she plans to reinstate for LGBT state employees was first put in place by Gov. Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusFederal investigators concluded Ryan Zinke's MAGA socks violated Hatch Act Kansas Senate race splits wide open without Pompeo Is a presidential appointment worth the risk? MORE (D) in 2007. The order barred harassment, firing or discrimination against state workers because of their sexual orientation or gender status. 

But the action was rescinded in 2015 by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

Brownback had argued at the time that the Supreme Court's decision to federally legalize same-sex marriage produced a new protected class” through executive action, according to The Kansas City Star. 

He reportedly said that any change should be made by the Legislature. 

Kelly will assume her role as Kansas governor after an extremely tight race against Kobach, who had earned an endorsement from President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump averages highest approval rating of his presidency in second quarter: Gallup GOP House campaign chair condemns 'send her back' chants: 'There's no place for that kind of talk' GOP lawmaker decries 'send her back' chants: 'This ugliness must end' MORE.

Her victory makes it increasingly likely that the state will expand medicaid coverage as well.