Legislature rejects Beshear's veto of religious freedom bill

03/26/2013 09:31 PM

Within an hour-and-a-half of each other, the House and Senate voted to override the governor’s veto of House Bill 279 , which has been promoted as a religious freedom measure.

The bill was resurrected by a 79-16 vote in the House. The Senate agreed with a 32-6 vote.

The measure says that someone who acts because of a sincere religious belief can’t be infringed upon unless the government can show “clear and convincing evidence” that it violates other laws.

Beshear vetoed the bill Friday citing “unintentional consequences.”

Beshear issued a statement after the override votes expressing his disagreement.

“I am disappointed in the General Assembly’s override of my veto of HB279,” he said. “As I explained in my veto message, I have significant concerns that this bill will cause serious unintentional consequences that could threaten public safety, health care, and individuals’ civil rights.”

In the House, lawmakers kept discussion short citing the need to move forward on other bills and the likelihood that most of the members wouldn’t change from their previous votes.

Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, told the group that religious freedoms are under attack in schools and homes across the state and country.

“Ladies and gentlemen if you don’t think there’s an attack on your religious freedom in this country and in this state then maybe you do believe in a boogeyman,” Lee said.


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