Controversial provision allowing religious discrimination sent back to committee

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A controversial provision introduced at the Statehouse would let some state contractors, or religious universities, discriminate based on religious beliefs.

The proposal passed the House Ways and Means committee after being introduced on Monday, but later, speaker Brian Bosma decided to recommit the bill, and send it back to the committee for further review.

The provision was unexpectedly added into another bill dealing with property taxes, Senate Bill 367.

The amendment was written by the author of the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, state Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero.

Turner’s proposal would allow those schools to hire based on religion, even if they currently have a state contract.

The specific language states: “A contract between the state or a political or civil subdivision of the state and an institution… is not required to contain a covenant not to discriminate against an employee or applicant for employment to be employed in the performance of the contract, with respect to the individual’s hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privilege of employment or any matter directly or indirectly related to employment, because of the individual’s religion.”

You can read the entire amendment which was posted on the General Assembly web site.