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Politics

Bill Seen by Some as Anti-Gay Dead in the Tenn. Legislature

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal to protect wedding-related businesses from lawsuits if they refuse to provide services to same-sex couples is dead for the session.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Mike Bell of Riceville was withdrawn from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Under the measure, a person or group wouldn't have to provide services for a domestic partnership or marriage not recognized by the state if doing so would violate their religious beliefs. Tennessee does not recognize same-sex marriages.

Bell reiterated that the legislation was intended to protect shop owners in Tennessee, noting that those in other states have been sued for refusing to do business.

However, opponents of the measure say it's intended to target gay, lesbian and transgender couples and is discriminatory.