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Idaho House takes ‘thoughtful pause’ on bill to allow religious discrimination

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

BOISE, Idaho — While a similar billed sailed through the Kansas state House on Wednesday, Idaho lawmakers sidetracked a measure that would have allowed businesses to refuse service to gay customers based on their religious beliefs.

Idaho Statehouse in Boise.

Idaho Statehouse in Boise.

The measure from Republican Rep. Lynn Luker of Boise, easily one of the 2014 session’s most-disputed, makes it tougher to sue people who cite their religious faith for not serving, among others, gay and lesbian customers.

The bill has been awaiting amendments in the House after clearing a committee last week.

But House Speaker Scott Bedke said Wednesday the measure won’t be debated this week.

Bedke, a Republican from Oakley, isn’t ruling out the bill’s resurrection, and that it could re-emerge as a modified measure.

But for now, Bedke told the Spokesman Review, it’s better to take a “thoughtful pause” on an issue that’s inflamed the passions of religious conservatives and gay rights activists.

Meanwhile, a similar bill allowing faith-based refusals to recognize same-sex unions or to provide goods, services, accommodations or employment benefits to gay couples, was approved in the Kansas state House, and will now be considered by the Senate.

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33 more reader comments:

  1. Honestly, why even consider this bill? What does it do to benefit people?

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:08am
  2. It benefits those who promote HATE

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:09am
  3. Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:10am
  4. http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2014/02/ariz-house-panel-oks-bill-allowing-discrimination-based-on-religious-beliefs/

    Replied on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:22am
  5. What the hell happened to separation of church and state?

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:12am
  6. They don't believe it exists. Seriously, they commonly argue that no such thing is in the Constitution and any assertions to the contrary are a liberal invention of the 20th century.

    Replied on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:14am
  7. It's been crushed by "freedom of religion". Because "freedom" overrides the Constitution now.

    Replied on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:15am
  8. I've also heard people argue that there's such a thing as the freedom of religion, but not the freedom FROM religion. That is, that the first amendment is entirely one way, that the federal government can't do anything to prohibit the practice of religion, but religion can shape government all it likes (to the point of instituting a national religion if it so desires). Of course, those are the same people who are now saying that the first amendment prohibits the establishment of mosques and Muslim cemeteries.

    Replied on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:59am
  9. how insane…only in America…I hope…

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:13am
  10. It is …I have a copy of our amendments and the constitution … its mentioned

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:16am
  11. Tax the fucking churches! This should not even be something that requires a “thoughtful pause.” It’s unconstitutional! End of discussion!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:17am
  12. Is this some sort of sick joke? This is such bullshit. Ugh.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:18am
  13. A thoughtful pause for a thoughtless bill? Hmm.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:21am
  14. Keith, the churches aren’t pushing these insane bills; lawmakers & policymakers *cough*lobbyists*cough* are. You can’t blame all churches for this shit because of a few bad apples. There ARE pro-LGBTQI churches, too!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:23am
  15. You're right. I still think it would be good for churches to be taxed, at least the ones that give money to politicians.

    Replied on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:32am
  16. Maidhc Mac An Bheatha the force behind these lawmakers are in fact christians and christian organizations/churches.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:27am
  17. Brian Zona, again, not all Christians are rightwing nutjobs. Some of us are actually very liberal! So stop treating us all the same, please & thank you!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:35am
  18. The economy will take a dump in the states which allow discrimination. Let the affluent religious bigots keep their state afloat and out of the red. It should come down to this: if a state allows discrimination, those who are discriminated against should not have to pay BS state taxes to support programs and services they are not allowed to use.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:36am
  19. Allow me explain this more succinctly: Muslims have Islamic terrorists; we have Westboro Baptist Church and those of their ilk. Neither represent the majority of their respective faiths. Understand now? Kthxbye.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:38am
  20. They need more than that ! Thoughtless idea is a stupid idea!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 1:29am
  21. One would think Idaho would shy away from laws that allow discrimination based on bigotry after all that trouble they had with neo-Nazis.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 1:53am
  22. How is this even up for discussion? Burn that bill like the piece of trash it is!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 2:07am
  23. Those people are just begging for more rope to hang themselves with. You stop serving one group of people for whatever reason and you will lose revenue…protesters and allies will unite against you because you misread a book written by people who weren’t there…that’s the biggest game of ‘gossip’ I’ve ever heard of.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 2:09am
  24. a thoughtful pause on something that should be a no brainer…o, snap! That’s right, they have no brains to start with.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 3:31am
  25. There is only one U.S. Constitution, read it.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 3:34am
  26. A certain religion, headquartered in Utah, doesn’t believe that the separation of civil law from their religious law and its imposition on everyone, applies to them.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 3:38am
  27. “How thoughtful” of the homophobes and bigots.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 4:26am
  28. Kansas is trying to passed the same law…asshats

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 5:06am
  29. Bigotry is a bill?

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 5:25am
  30. Really! Religious discrimination.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:37pm
  31. That sounds like a nice lawsuit waiting to happen. What idiots! I’d like to see the defense for allowing tax exempt organizations defend that ridiculous position.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 2:36pm
  32. religious discrimination??? after all these years of moving forward away from the hate that has been plaguing our society, these people decide to move backwards towards hate and ignorance.. Gay and Trans people have been around for as long as people have been around and the world has not ended, people have not stopped reproducing and the world continues. It doesn’t matter what you all decide now, eventually the truth always wins, so go ahead and make your dumb vote,, vindication will be our in the end!!!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 2:47pm
  33. Good, now it’s legal to stop Christian at the door!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 4:05pm