TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – The Kansas House has approved a bill aimed at keeping individuals, groups and businesses from being compelled to help with same-sex weddings.
The House’s 72-49 vote Wednesday sends the measure to the Senate.
Supporters describe it as a religious freedom measure. Opponents contend it will encourage discrimination against gays and lesbians.
The bill would bar government sanctions when individuals, groups and businesses cite religious beliefs in refusing to recognize a marriage or civil union, or to provide goods, services, accommodations or employment benefits to a couple. Anti-discrimination lawsuits also would be barred. Individual workers and government employees also would get some protections.
The measure is a response to the possibility that the federal courts could invalidate the state constitution’s ban on same-sex marriages.
@KansasFirstNews This just reiterates the hate message KS puts out. Why can’t we move forward for once instead of backwards?
— Abbey Frye (@IsleAbbey) February 12, 2014
— Trenton Kennedy (@kennedy4kansas) February 12, 2014