Wedding Services Bill Sparks Opposition

Wedding Services Bill Sparks Opposition

CREATED Feb 17, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Two Tennessee lawmakers have proposed a bill that would protect wedding-related businesses from lawsuits if they refuse to provide services based on religious beliefs.

Republican Senator Mike Bell of Riceville and Knoxville Representative Bill Dunn are sponsoring the proposal.

It is expected to be reviewed by the Senate on Tuesday in the wake of recent court rulings in other states striking down bans on same-sex marriage.

Bell said he thinks Tennessee's ban will be overturned eventually and the bill would protect the religious beliefs of business owners.

American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee Executive Director Hedy Weinberg said the bill is discriminatory against gay, lesbian and transgender couples. Weinberg said the ACLU is lobbying against the proposal.

Weinberg said the bill "is based on intolerance and fear."

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