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Religious liberty hits Senate

Last week, the House voted on a measure, HB 2453, also known as the religious liberty bill. The topic of the bill has made national news and headlines in state papers for the week, and in many cases has proven to be a complex topic for those following legislative action. As you know, once a bill is passed by either body, it is sent to be considered by the other chamber. HB 2453 is no different. Senate leadership referred the bill to judiciary, and after the turnaround deadline is met, the topic will be considered in the committee and vetted carefully.

The intent of the bill is to protect religious liberties in the state. A majority of the Senate supports laws that define traditional marriage, protects religious institutions and protect individuals from being forced to violate their personal moral values. We previously have passed legislation dealing with religious liberty issues and support protections for sincerely held religious beliefs.

However, after House passage this week, there was legitimate concern raised both among constituents and within the Kansas business community that the bill might overreach and could create hardship for employers. To avoid any unintended consequences, it's prudent to spend time involving all those interested to determine exactly what the practical effects might be.

Sen. Ralph Ostmeyer,

R-Grinnell, represents the 40th District.

ralph.ostmeyer@

senate.ks.gov