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Idaho’s Religious Protections Bill gets Sidelined

Benito Baeza

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation that proponents say will protect the religious freedom of businesses not to have to serve gay customers has been sidetracked. The measure from Republican Rep. Lynn Luker of Boise, easily one of the 2014 session’s most-disputed, makes it tougher to sue people who cite their religious faith for not serving, among others, gay and lesbian customers. It’s been awaiting amendments in the House after clearing a committee. But House Speaker Scott Bedke said yesterday the measure won’t be debated this week. Bedke, a Republican from Oakley, isn’t ruling out the bill’s resurrection. It could re-emerge as a modified measure. But for now, Bedke told the Spokesman Review, it’s better to take a “thoughtful pause” on an issue that’s inflamed the passions of religious conservatives and gay rights activists.

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