News (USA)

Missouri senate likely to vote for right to discriminate against gay couples today

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Senate could vote Thursday on whether to send the House a proposal creating religious protections for those objecting to gay marriage.

The Republican-led Senate gave initial approval early Wednesday to the proposed constitutional amendment after halting a Democratic filibuster that lasted 37 hours.

The measure would prohibit government penalties against those who cite religious beliefs while declining to provide wedding-related services to same-sex couples. The religious protections would apply to clergy, religious organizations and some businesses such as florists and photographers.

Another Senate vote is needed to send the measure to the House. Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard says that is likely to occur Thursday.

If passed by both chambers, the measure would appear on the ballot during either the August primary or November general election.

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