A House Committee will likely vote later this week on whether to advance a proposed Constitutional amendment supporters say would protect those with religious objections to same-sex marriage.
Chairman of the House Committee on Emerging Issues, Elijah Haahr (R-Springfield), said there was plenty to consider after a hearing last week on the measure.
“We got quite a bit of written testimony – I mean a fairly significant amount. I wanted to give them a chance to read through it and kind of come to their own conclusions,” said Haahr.
Backers don’t want the measure to be changed in the House, because that would require the Senate to consider it again. It already caused a record filibuster and slowdown of business in the Senate earlier this year.
Haahr hasn’t decided whether he thinks any changes need to be made.
“There’s particularly one thing that we got that was written by 15 law professors. I’d like to read through that,” said Haahr. “There’s at least one law professor that came and testified for the bill. There was a limited number of people that came and testified against it for legal reasons but they had written testimony. I’d like to read through that before I make my own determination on whether there’s amendments that need to be on it.”
Haahr said several members of the committee have expressed an interest in proposing changes.
Some lawmakers and others have suggested protections for business owners should be stripped from the measure, so it would only apply to religious organizations.
Opponents of the resolution say it would build into the Constitution protections for those who discriminate against the LGBT community. Proponents say it would protect the rights of those with religious objections.