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.