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Ky. House may override Governor’s veto of religious freedom bill

Advocacy groups say bill could allow people to discriminate against gays in the name of religion
Monday, March 25, 2013

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky state House is prepared to hold a vote Tuesday on overriding Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s veto of a bill that sponsors say is intended to protect the religious beliefs of Kentuckians from government intrusion.

Beshear vetoed the measure on Friday, saying that while he values religious freedom, he thinks the bill goes too far.

Beshear had been under pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky and other groups to veto the measure that they contend would allow people to discriminate against gays, lesbians and others in the name of religion.

Meanwhile, church groups had urged Beshear to sign the bill, saying Kentucky should be allowed to join 16 other states that provide similar protections for people of faith.

It was Democratic lawmakers who made the decision to push for the veto override, though most House Republicans are expected to join in the vote.

“I think we need to protect our religious freedoms,” said state Rep. Brian Linder, R-Dry Ridge. “I’ll tell you in my district, I have yet to have one phone call asking me not to override.”

House Speaker Greg Stumbo said lawmakers decided late Monday to pursue the override.

State Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, sponsored the bill after the Kentucky Supreme Court issued a ruling last year upholding a state law requiring the Amish to display bright orange safety triangles on their drab buggies so motorists could better see them. Several Amish men in rural western Kentucky felt so strongly that displaying the triangles violated their religious belief against calling attention to themselves that they went to jail rather than comply with the law.

The legislation protects “sincerely held religious beliefs” from infringement unless there is “a compelling governmental interest.”

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10 more reader comments:

  1. Why would a democratic governor do something so stupid?

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 10:46pm
  2. because hes just another worthless homophobe racist bible chewer thats why.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 10:49pm
  3. I say let them pay taxes then!

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 10:53pm
  4. Dear Deaven…. the GOVERNOR vetoed the racist bill…. NOW, the bigots want to OVERRIDE his veto!! Now, do you understand???¿?

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 11:12pm
  5. Sounds good!

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 11:12pm
  6. P.S… Corey, you MIGHT try reading my post, as well!!

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 11:13pm
  7. FYI…. The KY “religious freedoms” bill is an attempt; by the “Christian,” Right-wing, to not have to recognize Gay relationships, or future marriages! It is their attempt to STOP IT, before it becomes federal law. They believe, that we will be beating their doors down to get married, in THEIR church… and they don’t want that happening!

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 11:19pm
  8. What, they FAIL to realize…. is that we will not and would not EVER go, to their churches! Why, would we ever go, into an evil, bigoted church…. when, there are plenty of REAL churches; practicing true values, where we are already accepted??¿?

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 11:24pm
  9. The GOVERNOR…. is the good guy!! He’s on OUR side!!

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 11:27pm
  10. That’s exactly what I was thinking, William. Even if same sex marriage is finally a right, I would never choose one of the right wing churches for a wedding.

    Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 12:39am