Kansas debates protections for gay marriage foes

Gay pride flag (KSN File Photo)
Gay pride flag (KSN File Photo)

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) – Senate President Susan Wagle says the chamber isn’t going to consider legislation this year to provide legal protections for people, groups and businesses opposing gay marriage for religious reasons.

But Wagle said a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday on religious liberties issues sets up a debate next year over protecting gay-marriage opponents from being fined or sued for refusing to provide goods or services for same-sex wedding ceremonies or marriages.

The Judiciary Committee heard conflicting testimony from legal scholars about whether Kansas needs a new law in case federal courts strike down the state constitution’s gay-marriage ban.

The hearing followed last month’s House passage of what proponents called “religious freedom” legislation. Opponents said it would encourage discrimination against gays and lesbians, and Senate leaders declared it dead.

 

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