John M. Becker

Idaho Lawmaker Drops 'Turn Away the Gays' Bill

Filed By John M. Becker | February 19, 2014 3:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: anti-discrimination law, Christianists, Cornerstone Family Council, Focus on the Family, GOP, Idaho, Lynn Luker, privilege, religious exemption, Republican Party, special rights, theocracy

lynn-luker.jpgFor the second time in less than 24 hours, a state Republican lawmaker has dropped a bill that would grant special discrimination rights to anti-LGBT Christians.

Idaho GOP State Rep. Lynn Luker teamed up with a state-level Focus on the Family affiliate on a proposed bill that would prevent professionals from losing their licenses for refusing to serve or employ LGBT people. But after the proposal triggered a tremendous backlash, Luker is withdrawing the bill and claiming he was just misunderstood.

From the Associated Press:

Republican Rep. Lynn Luker of Boise says his measure was intended to protect the free exercise of religion, but was misinterpreted to be a "sword for discrimination."

A previous hearing on his measure lasted nearly four hours and drew hundreds to the Capitol.

Luker says he respects concerns he heard and as a result plans to take more time to work on the bill, which he proposed in the wake of cases in Oregon and New Mexico where gay people who were refused service brought claims against businesses.

Luker says the measure is unlikely to come up again during this legislative session.

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