Kentucky Senate passes bill allowing companies to deny services to gays

The Kentucky state Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would let businesses and churches refuse services to gay, lesbian or transgender clients in the name of protecting religious beliefs.

Conservative group The Family Foundation of Kentucky said SB 180 passed the Senate 22-16. The bill will now go to the House. 

The Fairness Coalition, an Kentucky LGBT rights group, calls the bill a "license to discriminate" and says it takes control away from Kentucky municipalities with local discrimination protection ordinances. 

The Family Foundation says the bill protects "certain businesses from anti-religious discrimination" and is "a victory for religious tolerance."

The Fairness Coalition says the bill, "opens the door to challenge religious and racial discrimination protections, which have been in place in Kentucky since the 1960s."

The Associated Press reports the Senate narrowed the bill’s application to businesses providing customized or creative goods and services. That could include bakeries, florists and photographers.

The bill comes after the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission ordered a Christian T-shirt company to undergo diversity training after refusing to print shirts for a gay pride festival. For more information, click here

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