Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, a conservative Republican re-elected in November, on Tuesday rescinded an executive order issued by a Democratic predecessor that offered protections for gay and bisexual state workers. Brownback said he was rescinding a 2007 order signed by former Governor Kathleen Sebelius that established a "protected class of rights" for state employees specifically for sexual orientation and gender identity. In its place, Brownback said he was issuing an executive order that would boost state employment-related aid for veterans and disabled people, while reaffirming the state's "commitment" to employment practices that do not discriminate based on "race, color, gender, religion, national origin, ancestry or age." Thomas Witt, executive director of Equality Kansas, said Brownback's order was an outrage and erases job protections for gay, lesbian and transgender employees who had trusted they would be safe from harassment and discrimination.
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