TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Supporters of a Kansas bill described as an
attempt to protect religious freedoms are now citing President
Barack Obama's ill-fated mandate on insurance coverage of
contraceptives as a reason for the measure.
But gay rights advocates testified Tuesday that the real motives
behind the bill before the House Judiciary Committee remain the
same. They say it's an attempt to nullify local ordinances and
university policies barring discrimination based on sexual
orientation or gender identity.
The committee took no action but is expected to vote on the
measure by Monday.
Supporters said Obama's attempt to require that even religious
organizations offer their employees coverage for birth control
shows the bill is needed.
But opponents said the measure will inspire lawsuits against
policies protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination.