Proposed Kansas response on gay marriage debated

Topeka State Capital Building

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Supporters of a proposal before the Kansas Legislature say their measure is about protecting bakeries, photographers and others from being punished for refusing for religious reasons to supply goods and services for same-sex weddings.

But gay rights advocates argued Tuesday that the measure is much broader than portrayed.

The House Federal and State Affairs Committee had a hearing on a bill anticipating that the federal courts might invalidate the Kansas Constitution’s ban on gay marriage. Federal judges in Oklahoma and Utah recently struck down those states’ bans.

The Kansas measure says no individual, business or religious group with sincerely held religious beliefs could be required by any government agency to provide services, facilities, goods, employment or employment benefits for a same-sex marriage or domestic partnership. The measure bars anti-discrimination lawsuits.

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