Tenn. lawmaker introduces bill to allow religious discrimination against gays

Tennessee state capitol in Nashville. Staff Reports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee state lawmaker has introduced a bill that would allow individuals and businesses to refuse to provide goods and services to gays based on their religious beliefs.

The measure, filed by GOP State Sen. Brian Kelsey, who represents Memphis and Germantown, is similar to bills currently being considered in Kansas, Arizona, Idaho and South Dakota.

The bill notes that businesses can refuse services and goods if it furthers a civil union, domestic partnership, or same-sex marriage. The person or business would just have to say it was against their religion.

Jonathan Cole of the Tennessee Equality Project, a statewide advocacy group, says the bill is making discrimination legal.

The bill was introduced in the House and Senate, but no votes have been taken yet.

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