By The Associated Press
1:00 AM CST, February 21, 2012
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas House committee has endorsed legislation that backers say would protect religious freedom but opponents believe would allow discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Monday's adoption by the House Judiciary Committee on a voice vote sends the bill to the full House.
Committee chairman Lance Kinzer, an Olathe Republican, says the bill puts into law the language of Kansas court decisions for determining when government policies place too heavy a burden on practicing religion.
It also allows people to sue state and local government agencies if they feel their religious freedoms have been abridged.
Critics, including the Kansas Equality Coalition, claim the bill's true intent is to discriminate against individuals based on sexual orientation.
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