KS Governor Brownback rescinds order protecting gay state workers

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has rescinded a former governor's order barring discrimination against gays and lesbians in hiring and employment throughout much of state government.

The Republican said Tuesday he issued an executive order canceling the August 2007 order by Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

Sebelius ordered departments under the governor's direct control to bar discrimination in hiring and employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Kansas' anti-discrimination law covers private employers and housing, but it doesn't extend to gay, lesbian or transgendered residents.

Brownback says legislators should approve any expansion of anti-discrimination laws, and that Sebelius — who later became President Barack Obama's health secretary — acted unilaterally

But he reaffirmed the state's commitment to preventing discrimination against state workers based on race, gender, religion or national origin.