While actual government agencies might still be bound by anti-discrimination laws, individual government employees would be free to refuse to assist those they judge to be unworthy of help.
As reported in the Huffington Post, State Rep. Charles Macheers (R), one of the bill’s staunchest advocates, argued that the provision was designed to prevent discrimination against religious individuals during a speech on the House floor Tuesday.
"Discrimination is horrible. It’s hurtful … It has no place in civilized society, and that’s precisely why we’re moving this bill," Macheers said.
This argument, which is that Christianity forbids its most faithful adherents from offering even common courtesy or minimal service to people who offend their beliefs, will become law in Kansas if the state Senate passes the bill and the Governor of that great big flat state assents.
While it seems obvious that this is designed to be a rearguard action against gay marriage, enabling county clerks to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples even if the courts order that they be granted in Kansas, it is ripe with unintended consequences. Of course, Christian restaurant owners are slobbering at the chance to refuse service to gay couples, but all those clever gays have to do is deck themselves out in sports jerseys and baseball caps to pass themselves off as regular hetero buddies. Lesbians have merely to wear heels to resemble church ladies.
Gay waiters in Kansas will, in the meantime, be free to refuse service to anyone they deem less than fabulous, forcing men in cut-off shorts and flip-flops that reveal their untrimmed toenails and sticky-faced toddlers to order their food elsewhere.
But the real issue will be in public service. Imagine this drama played out at a Kansas police station:
911 OPERATOR: Chief! We've got a report of an attempted robbery at gunpoint at Bill & Bubba's BBQ! Hostages have been taken!
POLICE COMMANDER: Bill & Bubba's! That's the best barbecue spot in town! Do we have any units nearby?
DISPATCHER: We have four officers in the area.
POLICE COMMANDER: Order them all in!
DISPATCHER: (After an exchange crackling with angry static) Bad news, sir. Officer Bernstein is an Orthodox Jew. He cannot enter any building where pork is present.
POLICE COMMANDER: Dammit! What about the rest of them?
DISPACTHER: Officer Abdul cannot heroically rescue anyone eating pork, either, sir. He also wishes to add that he cannot team up with Officer Bernstein because Bernstein is a Zionist hooligan.
POLICE COMMANDER: Who's left?
DISPATCHER: Not Officer Patel, sir. His religious beliefs forbid him from giving police service to any place serving beef short ribs as succulent as those dished up by Bill and Bubba's.
POLICE COMMANDER: The last one? I suppose there's some reason he can't respond, either?
DISPATCHER: Officer Bowtie is a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, sir. He cannot enter any restaurant that does not have pasta on the menu.
POLICE COMMANDER: Well, does Bill & Bubba's serve pasta?
DISPATCHER: (doubtfully) Not many rib joints do, Chief.
POLICE COMMANDER: (Shouting) WILL SOMEONE LOOK UP THEIR MENU ON THE INTERNET FOR GOD'S SAKE?
A COP AT HIS DESK: (Glancing up from his keyboard) They have macaroni and cheese, sir.
POLICE COMMANDER: Macaroni and cheese? THAT'S PASTA! SEND IN THE PASTAFARIAN!
(A tense silence ensues)
911 OPERATOR: Sir, I'm getting a call from the fry cook at Bill & Bubba's. The robbers don't know he's hiding in the meat locker. Officer Bowtie has been shot to death.
POLICE COMMANDER: (Resignedly) Well, we've done all we can. See what their demands are. And find a stretch of highway we can name after Bowtie.