TOPEKA -- Following the introduction of an amendment to House Bill 2383 that would have added language regarding gender identity and sexual orientation, the Kansas House of Representatives struck down the bill.

HB 2383, as discussed in the House on Monday, March 25, was intended to change the licensure and regulation of barbering.

According to a supplemental note provided with the bill it would, “establish the laws concerning the registration and regulation of barbers, which would be known as the Kansas Barbering Act (Act).”

The amendment would have added protection from discrimination of potential bias regarding gender identity and sexual orientation, according to Rep. Dennis Highberger (D-Lawrence).

“I had about 30 seconds to decide whether to offer the amendment so I just jumped at it,” Highberger said.

Highberger added the amendment to HB 2383 because he believed HB 2130, an act “amending the Kansas act against discrimination to include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression,” would not be heard by the legislature. Now, however, a hearing for HB 2130 has been set for May.

“If I’d known that I might not have offered the amendment,” Highberger said.

HB 2383 failed on a 58-61 vote.

Grant Heiman is a University of Kansas junior from Wichita majoring in journalism.

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