Kansas Statehouse
8:13 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Committee To Debate Kansas Religious Freedom Bill

A committee in the Kansas Legislature could vote this week on a controversial religious freedom bill. It says businesses, individuals and other groups with strong religious beliefs can't be forced to recognize same-sex marriage and provide employment or other services to same-sex couples.

Michael Schuttloffel is with the Kansas Catholic Conference. He uses the example of a photographer asked to photograph a same-sex wedding ceremony.

“We think a Christian should be able to start a photography business and run it without having to participate in ceremonies that violate their religious beliefs,” said Schuttloffel.

Opponents of the bill say it would provide legal protection for discrimination.

Cristel Heffron, from Peck, visited the Statehouse to speak against the bill. She describes herself as happily married with two stepchildren.

“I should probably stop there. Did I forget to mention that my spouse is also a woman? So, according to this bill I am very different from you. This bill says my marriage is not valid,” said Heffron.

There's a possibility that the Kansas ban on same-sex marriage could be struck down in the future, which has prompted lawmakers to consider this bill.