Kentucky House OKs Bill to Bolster Religious Protections

Mar 1, 2013

The Kentucky House has passed a bill that would give stronger protections to people who claim the government has infringed upon their religious freedom.

The measure overwhelmingly passed by a vote of 82-7 Friday--but not without more than 30 minutes of discussion about the bill's potential impact.

A handful of dissenting lawmakers claimed the bill could protect Catholic parishes during abuse investigations or allow Kentuckians to dodge provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act.

Proponents said those lawmakers miss the point. They said the bill responds to the Kentucky Supreme Court's 2012 decision to uphold a former law that required Amish buggies to display safety triangles, which the Amish opposed on religious grounds. The bill would give such claims stronger standing in the courts.

The legislation is House Bill 279.