A Minnesota State Senator has proposed a bill that would allow some business owners to opt out of providing marriage-related services to gay and lesbian couples based on their religious beliefs.

Republican Senator Paul Gazelka (pictured) introduced his “Religious Freedom” bill last week.

The measure states that no clergy member or business must provide goods or services “if that action would cause the individual or business to violate a sincerely held belief regarding whether marriage is only the union of one man and one woman.” The bill would only apply to businesses with fewer than 20 employees.

Gazelka, a strong opponent of marriage equality, insisted that his bill is not about discrimination.

“Now I'm simply asking that Christians and people of faith be able to live as they choose, without the threat of punishment from the government,” he said.

Monica Meyer, executive director of Outfront Minnesota, the state's largest LGBT rights advocate, said the “bill is not treating LGBTQ people and their families well.”

“We see this as an attack on the freedom to marry for same-sex couples,” she told the Pioneer Press.

Minnesota lawmakers ended that state's marriage exclusion based on sexual orientation in 2013, just months after voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage as a heterosexual union.