A Kentucky bill that would allow companies to deny services based on the religious objections of their owners cleared a Senate committee on Thursday.

The Senate Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protections approved Senate Bill 180 with an overwhelming 8-1 vote. The proposal now heads to the Republican-led Senate, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

The bill seeks to amend Kentucky's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to apply to businesses that serve the public. The sale of goods and services would be put under the “protected activities” clause.

The bill's sponsor, Senator Albert Robinson, a Republican from London, said that his bill is aimed at protecting the rights of business owners who oppose the Supreme Court's finding that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry.

“All of these business owners want to treat everyone with full human dignity and respect,” Robinson told the committee. “But their consciences and religious beliefs prevent them from using their skills to promote a celebration that runs counter to what the Bible teaches about marriage. Shouldn't their rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion be respected?”

He said that he was responding to the case of a Christian business that was ordered to get diversity training after its owner refused to print t-shirts for a Gay Pride festival. A state judge overturned the order. The case is on appeal.

“There is an agenda at work here that seeks to force people with sincerely held religious convictions to either abandon these beliefs or violate them or face state action that could close their businesses and destroy them financially,” Robinson said.

If approved, the bill would affect LGBT protections in eight Kentucky cities.

Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign, a group that advocates for LGBT rights, called SB 180 a “clear attack” on those eight cities.