Bill would allow Indiana vendors to refuse same-sex weddings

By : Jamie Hyman
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Indianapolis (AP) – Legislation that would allow Hoosiers with strong religious beliefs to refuse services for same-sex weddings is drawing fire from gay rights groups who say it would legalize discrimination.

Republican state Sen. Scott Schneider says his measure is needed in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s October decision to let stand a federal ruling striking down Indiana’s gay marriage ban.

Schneider tells The Indianapolis Star that “It’s important to have some religious freedom and protection.”

His bill would allow bakeries, caterers, florists and other small businesses to refuse services to gay couples based on the owner’s religious beliefs.

But Indiana Equality Action President Chris Paulsen says it would essentially legalize discrimination.

Schneider’s bill is likely to receive serious consideration in the more conservative General Assembly that begins its session Jan. 6.

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