Legislators in Missouri, Georgia, and Kansas have introduced measures similar to the controversial bill sitting on the desk of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer enabling businesses to cite religious beliefs when denying services to gay customers.
The Kansas bill passed the House in early February, and the two Georgia measures that were introduced in both the House and Senate are expected to be passed fairly quickly. The Missouri measure was introduced Monday, Politico
"We're trying to protect Missourians from attacks on their religious freedom," state Sen. Wayne Wallingford, author of the bill in the Show Me State, told The Kansas City Star.
Members of the lesbian, gay, and transgender community are not mentioned by name in any of the measures, but the bills are referred to as religious freedom bills that would allow businesses and individuals to use their religious beliefs as legally acceptable reasons why they might deny services to customers.
Opponents of the bills say they would give business owners the right to discriminate against anyone, including gays.
Several leading Republicans have come out against such measures, including former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, who have all called on Brewer to veto the measure.
The Arizona governor has not yet said whether or not she will sign the bill
, just that she will "do the right thing."
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