The Times-Union reports on the South Dakota bill:
A measure that sought to prevent lawsuits against businesses that refuse to hire or provide services to gays and lesbians was rejected Tuesday by a South Dakota legislative panel after opponents said the bill was unnecessary and would send a message of hate or fear. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 5-2 to kill the bill, which also sought to protect people from being sued for expressing their beliefs on sexual orientation.
Sen. Jean Hunhoff, R-Yankton, a member of the committee, said the measure and similar ones introduced during this year’s legislative session seem to be focused on trying to divide society. “Because what? We fear them? We fear what it’s going to lead to?” Hunhoff said. “I have a difficult time as a faith-based person that I’m supposed to be afraid of these people.”
Pink News reports on the Kansas bill:
A Tennessee Senator has dropped a bill which would have allowed businesses to refuse service for gay couples’ weddings based on religious beliefs. Senator Mike Bell on Tuesday shelved the ‘Religious Freedom Act’, (SB2566) before it went to a vote. After having taken over as lead sponsor of the bill last week, Bell admitted that the legislation was unnecessary, noting that business owners already have protections under Tennessee law. “I’m convinced that current law protects people of faith,” Bell said.
And USA Today reports from Kansas:
Senate leaders already had said the bill would not pass their chamber, but [Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Jeff] King said Tuesday that his committee won’t even take it up. “We’re not working House Bill 2453,” said King, an Independence Republican, referring to the measure by number. King said he’s not drafting a narrower alternative. He said he’ll have hearings so interested parties can have national experts discuss whether Kansas needs a new law. “Something new would have to arise out of these hearings,” he said.
I would have thought that bills like these would have been a slam dunk in states like Tennessee, Kansas and South Dakota. We really have come so far, so fast.