Gay-rights group criticizes Kan. House Demo leader

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The leading gay-rights group in Kansas contends the state House's Democratic leader has not taken a strong enough stance against a bill the groups says would sanction discrimination.

Equality Kansas State Chairwoman Sandra Meade criticized House Minority Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence even though Davis voted against the bill Wednesday. The measure passed the chamber, 72-49.

The bill would bar government sanctions or anti-discrimination lawsuits when individuals, groups or businesses cite religious beliefs about marriage in refusing to provide goods, services, accommodations or employment benefits to couples.

In a statement Tuesday, Davis suggested debate on the bill was a distraction from more serious economic and education issues. Meade said it's disappointing that a Democratic leader wouldn't see a call to action to fight discrimination.

Davis declined comment Wednesday.