Missouri Democrats filibuster over religious protection amendment

10 months 1 week 4 days ago March 08, 2016 Mar 8, 2016 Tuesday, March 08 2016 Tuesday, March 08, 2016 3:28:00 PM CST in News
By: The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Latest on the Missouri Senate debate over a proposed amendment to the state constitution granting greater religious protections to individuals, organizations and some business owners who object to same-sex marriage:

2:45 p.m.

Senate Democrats are continuing a filibuster against a proposed amendment to the Missouri Constitution that expands religious protections for some business owners and individuals opposed gay marriage.

Majority Republicans regained control of the Senate debate for about two hours Tuesday and put forth a slightly revised measure. But Democrats then resumed their filibuster.

The debate has gone nonstop since around 4:20 p.m. Monday.

Both sides said they are willing to work through the night again.

The proposal would prohibit government penalties against those who cite a "sincere religious belief" while declining to provide services involving "expressional or artistic creation" for same-sex weddings and celebrations.

It also shields clergy and places of worship that decline to participate in such weddings.

The amendment would appear on Missouri's ballot later this year.

___

9:30 a.m.

Missouri Democrats are vowing to keep talking to block a vote on a proposed constitutional amendment granting greater religious protections to some business owners and individuals who object to gay marriage.

Debate on the measure began around 4:20 p.m. Monday and stretched without a break into Tuesday. Some opponents vowed to carry on past the 24-hour mark.

Republican Senate leaders also pledged to press ahead until they reach a vote.

The proposal would ban government penalties against those who decline based on religious grounds to provide goods or services of "expressional or artistic creation" for same-sex weddings. That could include bakers or florists.

If passed by the Senate, the measure would have to go through the House before being submitted to voters in the August primary or November general elections.

___

2:45 a.m.

Missouri Democrats are blocking a proposed constitutional amendment that would grant greater religious protections to some businesses that decline to provide goods or services for same-sex weddings.

Senate Democrats stalled a vote on the measure during a filibuster that ran from Monday night into Tuesday morning.

The proposal would amend the state Constitution to ban government penalties against businesses that deny on religious grounds services of "expressional or artistic creation" for same-sex couples' weddings. That could cover bakers or florists.

Clergy and religious leaders also couldn't be punished for refusing to marry same-sex couples, and places of worship that deny hosting weddings would be protected.

Democrats argued the change would permit discrimination against same-sex couples.

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