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Kansas Governor Issues Order to Protect Gay Marriage Foes

Associated Press - July 7, 2015 3:15 pm

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has issued an executive order aimed at protecting clergy, religious leaders and religious groups from being penalized by the state for opposing same-sex marriage.

Brownback issued the order Tuesday. It said the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last month legalizing gay marriage across the nation has the potential to infringe upon religious liberties.

The state and U.S. constitutions protect religious liberties, and Kansas enacted a law in 2013 saying that state and local agencies can’t substantially limit someone’s exercise of religion without a compelling reason.

But the order says state agencies can’t alter contracts with individuals or religious groups, change their tax status or deny them licenses or tax breaks based on their refusal to perform same-sex marriages or provide services for such marriages.

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