GOP candidate for Kansas governor backs anti-gay bias policy

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) A Republican candidate for Kansas governor supports restoring a ban on discrimination against gays and lesbians in state employment and hiring.

Former state Sen. Jim Barnett said Thursday that as governor, he would make it clear "there will not be discrimination."

In 2015, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback rescinded a 2007 executive order from former Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius barring discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in state hiring and employment decisions.

Asked during a news conference about restoring such a policy, Barnett said: "I support that."

Brownback opposed gay marriage. He said in 2015 that the GOP-controlled Legislature should have been involved in setting the anti-discrimination policy.

Democrats in the U.S. Senate have made Brownback's action an issue as the term-limited governor seeks confirmation for an ambassador's post.

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