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Kansas Legislative Panel Votes Not to Audit DCF for Discrimination

Representative Jim Ward holding a letter from DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore saying the agency doesn't discriminate against same-sex couples. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

A panel of Kansas lawmakers has voted not to audit a state agency to see if there’s discrimination against same-sex couples. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, an audit would have looked for discrimination when it comes to foster care and adoption.

In a letter to the committee, the head of the Kansas Department for Children and Families said the agency doesn’t discriminate against same-sex couples. That was enough for Republican Senator Jeff Longbine to suggest they hold off on an audit.

“Since they have formally come out and said they are not discriminating, they don’t have policies either for same-sex couples or against same-sex couples, maybe we should take them at their word for a while and see how they behave,” says Longbine.
Democratic Representative Jim Ward pushed for the audit. He says there is some evidence discrimination may be happening and they need to find out more.
“Because people who discriminate typically don’t come into legislative committees and admit they discriminate. It is something you have to go and investigate,” says Ward.
The request for an audit was defeated on a party-line 5-4 vote.

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