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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - "Kentucky legislature overwhelmingly overrides veto of 'religious freedom' bill"

Interesting story today in the Louisville Courier Journal, reported by Tom Loftus. Some quotes:

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky House and Senate voted by overwhelming margins Tuesday night to override Gov. Steve Beshear’s veto of the controversial “religious freedom” bill.

The House’s 79-15 vote sent House Bill 279 to the Senate, which voted 32-6 to override the measure.

The one-paragraph bill that stirred strong emotions now will become law in 90 days.

Beshear released a statement saying he was disappointed with the override of the only bill he vetoed in the 2013 legislative session. “As I explained in my veto message, I have significant concerns that this bill will cause serious unintentional consequences that could threaten public safety, health care, and individuals’ civil rights.”

But the Family Foundation claimed the wide vote margins proved that the concerns of Beshear, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky and gay-rights and human-rights groups were unfounded. * * *

HB 279 says that government shall not infringe on any person’s sincerely held religious beliefs unless it can show with “clear and convincing evidence” some compelling governmental interest for doing so.

Gay-rights and human-rights groups led the opposition to the bill, warning that it could be used to challenge local laws in Louisville, Lexington, Covington and Vicco designed to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination.

Beshear added additional concerns in his veto message on Friday, saying the bill could could be costly to local governments, impede the state’s economic development efforts, and possibly result in the withholding of needed medical care or the use of religious beliefs as a justification for abuse.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 27, 2013 11:41 AM
Posted to Indiana Government