A Wyoming Republican has introduced a
bill which seeks to allow citizens, including government officials,
to deny services if doing so conflicts with their religious beliefs.
Sate Representative Nathan Winters'
Religious Restoration Act prohibits the government from placing a
burden on a person's exercise of religion or moral conscience.
“They're free from oppression of
government if they choose to exercise freedom of conscience,”
Winters, also a pastor, gave only one
example of how his bill would apply to religious people: county
clerks who claim to object to marriage equality based on their faith
would be allowed to deny marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples
who sought them.
Winters' bill would also allow people
to sue the government for placing a burden on their religious freedom
without a “compelling government interest.”
Gay and lesbian couples started
marrying in October after a federal judge struck down Wyoming's ban