Kansas City officials say a proposed constitutional amendment on same-sex marriages could impact bidding for future events. City Manager Troy Schulte told KCSP radio that NCAA and Big 12 officials have told city event officials that they are concerned about the measure.
“We’re going through the bid process, led by the Kansas City Sports Commission to put together a next round of bids,” said Schulte. “If this issue is still lingering out there, what do you think our chances are of getting additional events?”
The Big 12 men’s basketball tournament is planned to be held at the Sprint Center in Kansas City through 2020. The event brings an estimated $13 million to the local economy, according to Schulte.
“There’s no reason that if we were to pass this legislation at the statewide level, that the Big 12 couldn’t come to us in 2016 and say we no longer think you are a welcoming environment. We are going to pull it,” said Schulte.
Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City) disagrees with Schulte.
“I think once the facts get out there. Right now, there’s obviously people who don’t like the SJR that we had last week and they are trying to put as much fear into the economic Armageddon it might bring this state,” said Kehoe.
The resolution passed last week in the state Senate would ask voters if businesses and religious organizations should be shielded from penalties for objecting to offer goods and services for gay weddings.
Supporters of the measure argue that it would keep the government out of the people’s business.
Senate Republicans used a procedural motion, known as the previous question, to end a filibuster led by Democrats. The tactic is considered controversial among those serving in the Senate, where tradition involves allowing members to debate for as long as they want.
The proposal is headed to the House.