BY: WESLEY ROBINSON
The Kentucky General Assembly overturned Gov. Steve Beshear’s veto of House Bill 279 Tuesday night with little resistance.
With a 79-15 vote in the Democratic House and a 32-6 vote in the Republican, Senate overturned the veto of House Bill 279. The bill also known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, was designed to help prevent discrimination of anyone regarding their religious beliefs as well as protecting actions taken against people on religious grounds, said Rep. David Meade, a Republican from Stanford.
Amber Duke, communications manager of the ACLU, said the broad language of the bill is highly concerning and puts the civil rights protections of minority groups, especially LGBT people in jeopardy.
“We thought that having a clause saying people could practice their religion as well as respect existing Civil rights law would be simple,” Duke said, prior to the final vote. “Unfortunately the bill in the state that it’s in it can no longer be amended.”
Duke said she expects the issue to be addressed in courts as discrimination issues arise.
Gov. Beshear said he vetoed the bill because of the potential legal issues that could threaten public safety.
“As written, the bill will undoubtedly lead to costly litigation. I have heard from many organizations and government entities that share those same concerns,’ Beshear said.