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Indiana Religious Freedom Controversy Rekindles Debate In Ky.


The debate over Indiana’s controversial new religious freedom law is also prompting new questions about Kentucky’s version.

The Commonwealth passed its own religious freedom in 2013 in response to complaints by an Amish group that refused to attach orange safety signs to their vehicles – arguing it violated their religious beliefs against calling attention to themselves.

Now, in the wake of strong pushback in the Hoosier State, opponents are wondering if the debate could surface again in Frankfort. Tuesday, Gov. Steve Beshear, whose veto of the original measure was overridden by the General Assembly, said the law hasn’t generated many problems so far.

"We haven't seen any adverse consequences yet that we know of, and I'm very thankful for that, but if there was a way that the legislature would feel we could clarify it then obviously that would be a good thing to do," he said.

The bill was referenced, however, in the recent Lexington Human Rights Commission case against t-shirt maker Hands On Originals. An appeal filed by Jim Campbell with Alliance Defending Freedom argued the commission’s ruling against Hands On placed an undue burden on the owner’s religious beliefs.

Kentucky is one of 20 states with religious freedom laws on the books. 

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.