Jan 29 5:16 PM

Idaho bill would protect businesses refusing service on religious grounds

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty
The Stream (Al Jazeera)

An Idaho state representative introduced a bill to the legislature this week that would protect businesses from having their licenses revoked if they refuse service to customers or deny employment to applicants based on the religious beliefs of those who own or run the business.

Republican Rep. Lynn Luker introduced the legislation, and said the bill is meant to "protect persons holding occupational licenses in the exercise of their religious freedom." The Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses manages certifications for professional boards from social workers to doctors. The bill does not apply to emergency responders and will not prevent Idahoans from being fired if they choose to deny service based on religious reasons. Additionally, it does not authorize the "intentional infliction of emotional or physical injury."

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