Bill allowing businesses to deny services to gays advances in Kentucky

Kentucky state capitol in Frankfort.

Kentucky state capitol in Frankfort.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky businesses could refuse services to gay, lesbian or transgender clients in the name of protecting religious beliefs under a bill advancing in the state Senate.

The bill comes after the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission ordered a Christian T-shirt company to get diversity training for refusing to print shirts for a gay pride festival. A state judge overturned the order, but an appeals court is reviewing the case.

The bill is the latest effort of lawmakers in some states to react to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last summer that effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

The Georgia legislature is considering similar legislation, and the Missouri legislature is considering amending its state constitution to protect businesses that decline to provide goods or services for same-sex marriage ceremonies or celebrations.

Earlier this month, the state Senate approved a bill that creates different marriage license forms for gay and straight couples. One Republican senator said any form that does not include the words “bride” and “groom” is disrespectful to traditional families.

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