Tue February 18, 2014
'Religious Freedom Bill' Faces Uncertain Future In Kansas Legislature
A bill that supporters say will preserve religious freedom now faces an uncertain future in the Kansas legislature.
Bill Proponents say it will protect individuals, businesses and religious groups from being involved in same-sex marriage ceremonies for religious reasons. Opponents say it's so broadly written that it offers legal protection for discrimination. The bill passed the Kansas House last week.
House Speaker Ray Merrick says that he would not put the bill up for a vote again if he could do it over. Merrick says the House will work with the Senate to amend the bill.
"And I can tell you that any iteration of this that doesn't satisfy and is too broadly interpreted, won't see the light of day," Merrick says.
Merrick says when he read the bill he didn't believe it could be so widely interpreted to allow discrimination.
Senate Vice President Jeff King says the Senate likely won't consider the House bill, but will look into the issue of religious freedom.
"It's not my intention in Senate judiciary to have hearing on that bill," King says. "It's my intention to have hearings addressing this issue in general and what we need to do."
Sunday, more than 200 people gathered at the Kansas Capitol to protest the bill.