Arizona Senate Passes Bill Allowing Anti-Gay Discrimination

February 20, 2014 9:54 a.m.

The Arizona Senate passed a “religious freedom” bill Wednesday, which would effectively allow businesses to deny services to LGBT people.

The bill passed on a party line vote, according to the Arizona Republic. The Republican House majority has already recommended passage of a similar bill in that chamber.

They are examples of one of two kinds of legislation that gay rights advocates worry could lead to LGBT discrimination, as TPM has reported. It requires the government to have a compelling reason to interfere with an individual’s exercise of their religion. That broad language, advocates say, would in practice allow for businesses to discriminate against gay people.

Kentucky is the only state thus far to enact such a law, but similar bills have been introduced this year in Idaho and Mississippi.

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