Vote on controversial 'religious freedom' legislation postponed - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Vote on controversial 'religious freedom' legislation postponed

KMOV KMOV

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Lawmakers in Jefferson City postponed a vote on the “religious freedom” legislation Wednesday night.

Senate Joint Resolution 39 would allow some organizations and businesses the right to refuse services to same-sex couples based on religious reasons.

Senate Democrats fought the proposal with a filibuster that lasted nearly 40 hours in March but Republicans were able to push the measure through to the House.

Read: Missouri religious freedom bill part of national trend

The House Committee on Emerging Issues cancelled a vote on the bill. The committee's chairman said new legal opinions must be sought before any vote is held. News 4's Matt Sczesny learned that Republicans on the committee believed it was one vote short of passing. Lawmakers on the committee also received legal briefs on the bill Wednesday night.

Supporters of the legislation said it allows people to stay true to their religious beliefs but several big money makers for St. Louis and Missouri have called it a license to discriminate.

The NCAA, AT&T, Express Scripts and MasterCard have criticized the proposal.

Local leaders believe the proposal could cost the state a shot a hosting the NCAA Final Four and other major events that have the potential to bring in millions of dollars.

State Senator Bob Onder is the lawmaker behind the proposal. He said he has not seen any real evidence that the legislation would hurt the state’s economy.

If the bill is eventually approved by the committee and passed by a full House vote it would end up on the state’s ballot for voters.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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