TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – A Kansas House committee has approved a bill aimed at protecting individuals, groups and businesses that refuse for religious reasons to recognize same-sex unions or provide benefits to gay couples.
The Federal and State Affairs Committee’s voice vote Thursday sends the measure to the entire House.
The committee’s debate came amid an uncertain legal climate for states such as Kansas that ban same-sex marriage. Federal judges recently struck down bans in Oklahoma and Utah.
The bill says governmental entities cannot require individuals, businesses or religious groups to provide services, facilities, goods or employment benefits related to any marriage or domestic partnership.
Supporters say the measure will protect religious freedom.
Critics say the measure promotes discrimination and would encourage government officials to ignore court rulings favoring gay marriage.