Lawmakers Override Gubernatorial Veto of Religious Freedom Bill

Mar 27, 2013

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Kentucky lawmakers have overridden a gubernatorial veto of the so-called religious freedom bill on the last day of the legislative session.

Supporters of House Bill 279 say it would re-establish previous laws protecting religious freedom in Kentucky and that it would not overturn fairness laws. But opponents challenge that, saying the bill invites discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs.

State Representative Daryl Owens encouraged his fellow House members to uphold Governor Steve Beshear's veto of the measure.

"The governor was right. This bill is vague," Owens said. "It has significant potentials to harm this community and the communities in this commonwealth and I would urge you to sustain the Governor's veto."

The opponents say religious beliefs aren't under attack in Kentucky, but state representative Stan Lee said they are.

"There have been attempts to take God out of everything," Lee said. "They want to take God out of the pledge of allegiance, can you believe that? You don't think your religious freedom is under attack? Then maybe you do believe in a boogeyman."

Both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly voted to override the veto, putting the bill into law.