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Kansas Ponders New Protections for Campus Religious Groups

Kansas Statehouse (Photo by J. Schafer)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators could enact new legal protections for faith-based groups on state college campuses even though the state already has a religious objections law.  Religious groups argue that the bill they're pursuing this year sets a clearer legal standard and prevents lawsuits. Critics contend schools wouldn't be allowed to withhold support even if groups discriminate based on race or national origin.  The state's existing 2013 "religious freedom" law says state or local government agencies can't substantially limit someone's exercise of religion without a compelling reason. It allows lawsuits to challenge government actions.  This year's proposal would specifically prohibit state colleges from refusing to provide resources to religious groups for requiring members to profess certain beliefs or adhere to a faith-based code of conduct.  The measure has passed the Senate.



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