• Source: Kentucky Senate
  • Breaking: KY Senate Passes Bill Protecting People of Faith From Having to Serve Same-Sex Couples

    Bill Would Create Special Protections for People of Faith

    Despite calls against "legislating morality," Kentucky GOP State Senator Albert Robinson (photo, top) saw his bill creating special rights for people who have a religious objection to same-sex marriage and LGBT people pass the Senate Tuesday afternoon. The vote was 22-16.


    The bill, should it become law, also effectively nullifies LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances in several Kentucky towns and cities.

    Some senators warned they are unsure just how far the bill could extend.

    Gay people "are trying to force their beliefs down the throats" of those who oppose same-sex marriage, Sen. Robinson claimed, saying LGBT people have been "trolling" businesses trying to find ones that refuse service to same-sex couples.

    The bill, one of many "religious freedom" bills conservatives have been pushing in the wake of the legalization of same-sex marriage.

    Calling it a "live and let live bill," Sen. Robinson also claimed the Supreme Court's Obergefell decision does not give "the homosexual community...the liberty to push" same-sex marriage down the "throats" of Kentucky's citizens. He added that not all but some members of "the homosexual community make it an issue."

    Not all spoke in favor of the Robinson's legislation.


    "This bill would return Kentucky to the dark days of the past. I would hope the Kentucky Senate would not support a bill that promotes bigotry," Senator Reggie Thomas (photo) told his colleagues, voting against the bill. "I do not want to be a part of that."

    Later, Sen. Thomas talked about the history of the 20th century, filled with anti-Semitism and denial of rights for African Americans. And now, he said, "gays are just demanding their rightful place in society." 

    The original language of the bill, not including the amendment added today, reads that it specifically protects those who "provide customized, artistic, expressive, creative, ministerial, or spiritual goods or services, or judgments, attestations, or other commissions that involve protected rights." In other words, florists, bakers, and photographers, as well as pastors, preachers, and other faith leaders who might be asked to perform a service or sell a product to a same-sex couple.

    Today's amendment allegedly narrows the scope of protected businesses but to what degree is unclear.

    Calling it "dangerous overreach," and "an incredibly broad statute," one senator said SB 180 was drafted in response to a case currently in the court system, Hands On Originals v. Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission. He opposed the bill because he believes current Kentucky law already provides sufficient protections for people of faith. And he noted Missouri tried to pass a similar bill and has received a great deal of negative attention.

    Other lawmakers said the bill would "invite problems." 

    The bill now heads to the Kentucky House.

    UPDATE I: 4:31 PM EST –
    From the original text of the bill, not including today's as yet unpublished amendment:
    "Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, no statute, regulation, ordinance, order, judgment, or other law or action by any court, commission, or other public agency shall impair, impede, infringe upon, or otherwise restrict the exercise of protected rights by any protected activity provider." In other words, this nullifies local LGBT protection and nondiscrimination ordinances.


    This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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    • followed this page 2016-03-15 21:56:37 -0400

    • commented 2016-03-15 21:52:17 -0400
      In a previous generation, social conservatives used similar rationalizations to justify discrimination against potential black customers.
      And if the Civil Rights Acts had not been passed, this blatant form of sanctioned bigotry would persist to this day.

    • commented 2016-03-15 19:46:58 -0400
      This is freaking unbelievable. This guy has maybe 10 years tops, and this law won’t affect him at all. Why would he even push this? I hope someone sues, this is wrong. This is why we need federal protections to protect us from the religious right and these types of laws. It’s so unAmerican writing discrimination into law.

    • commented 2016-03-15 19:05:49 -0400
      Um, no: “bigoted Kentucky senate passes bill to enshrine legal discrimination in support of anti-gay bigots who pretend to be Christians”. That’s the correct headline!

    • commented 2016-03-15 17:11:37 -0400
      These bigots" businesses are serviced by my roads, by my sidewalks,
      and my public lighting

      They are serviced by my code enforcement,
      by my refuse removal, my snow removal, my sewers
      by my reservoirs and by my public transportation system.

      They are protected by my police
      by my fire department
      and by my emergency services.

      They are defended by my National Guard,
      my Army, and Air Force,
      and by my Navy and Marine Corps.

      I pay for their Government.
      I pay for their schools.
      I pay for their meat and poultry inspections,
      their pharmaceuticals safety,
      and their schools, libraries, and child protection services.

      I pay for their tornado warnings, their 911 service,
      the District Attorneys that prosecute and criminal courts that adjudicate,
      and the municipal courts that give hearing to their civic complaints.

      Given, then that these businesses
      are utterly dependent upon my taxes for their survival
      they are, perforce, obliged to my requests for service.

      If, in conscience, they cannot oblige me,
      then let them pay my taxes.

      Better yet,
      let them move to Afghanistan,
      where their kind belong.
      This Nation will be a far more decent place without them.

      Case closed.
      End of discussion.

    • commented 2016-03-15 16:53:43 -0400
      Bet he’s a closeted homosexual. I don’t say that to be mean in any way, I’m referring to the almost never ending hypocrisy with these “almost cleverly named” law pushers. He knows all to well how it feels to have homosexuality “shoved down his throat” mark my words, it will come out soon enough. ;)

    • commented 2016-03-15 16:44:15 -0400
      Fair “law” as long the “businesses” are required to formally post the “religious” ritual in play & why it’s “heartfelt”.

      IN PLAIN SIGHT AND IN THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGES FOUND ON THE LOCAL DIVISION’S VOTING MATERIALS, however that has already been established local law so everyone understands the law being put into motion.

      If all the above is a required condition to have prominently posted out front, then, I invite them to right this into “law” anywhere the antigay connive to do it.

      It’s a free country, but no citizen should have to go into such a place without a (mental) health warning

    • commented 2016-03-15 16:22:26 -0400
      What are the chances in the House?

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