Mississippi House Votes to Study “Religious Freedom” Bill; “In God We Trust” Clause Passes

House Judiciary Committee B chairman Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, explains the intent of the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act to Rep. Adrienne Wooten, D-Jackson, in House chambers at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, March 12, 2014.  (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
House Judiciary Committee B chairman Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, explains the intent of the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act to Rep. Adrienne Wooten, D-Jackson, in House chambers at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mississippi House members want to study a much-disputed religious practices bill, but are keeping it alive for possible further action.

The House passed Senate Bill 2681 by an 80-37 vote Wednesday after it had been amended to call for a study panel of the combined House and Senate Judiciary committees. Another prong that inserts the phrase “In God We Trust” into the state seal passed intact.

House Judiciary B Committee Chairman Andy Gipson says the idea is to work toward an agreeable bill by the end of the 2014 Legislature.

A majority of House members weren’t ready to vote for the bill Wednesday.

Gipson says Mississippi needs to ensure the government can’t burden religious practices. Opponents say they fear even a watered-down version of the bill would allow discrimination.

SOURCE: The Associated Press 

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