Bill Focuses on Gay Marriage and Business Support

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LITTLE ROCK, AR – Another bill supporters say protects religious beliefs is causing controversy. The focus this time is on marriages and the institutions and businesses surrounding them.

The bill’s sponsor says people should not be forced to participate in marriages they don’t agree with on religious grounds.

Some see this as focused on the LGBT community, protecting businesses and institutions that don’t want to provide services for their weddings.

The example often given is a Christian baker forced to make a cake for a gay wedding. The bill’s sponsor says the government should not force people to do things that violate their religious beliefs.

But opponents see parallels to arguments used against ending racial segregation.

“People didn’t want to let African Americans eat at the lunch counter by that same argument. I don’t think that’s a fair argument and I think anyone that’s saying that is taking it to the extreme and I think they’re taking it out of context,” says Kim Hammer.

Opponents also worry the bill allows people to discriminate against a broad array of groups in various transactions under the guise of religious beliefs.

Both of these bills were filed on Monday which is the last day of the filing period. With about a month left of the session we’ll have to see how far they get.

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