(Lexington Herald-Leader) A bill intended to clarify religious freedom in Kentucky advanced in the legislature Wednesday over the objections of groups who fear that the measure could be used to trample civil rights.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send House Bill 279 to the full Senate for consideration. Two Democrats, Sen. Perry Clark of Louisville and Sen. Jerry Rhoads of Madisonville, voted against the measure, which would strengthen a person’s ability to ignore state regulations or laws that contradict their “sincerely held” religious beliefs.

The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Rep. Bob Damron of Nicholasville, said the measure mirrors a federal law passed in 1993. Twelve states have approved similar laws clarifying religious freedom, Damron said.

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