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Missouri Measure Seeks Religious Exemptions on Gay Marriage

A Missouri proposal would give voters a say on whether to grant greater religious protections for individuals and some business owners who object to same-sex marriage.

State Sen. Bob Onder says his proposed constitutional amendment would ensure people aren't forced to participate in or lend their support to marriage ceremonies that violate their religious beliefs.

The measure got its first hearing Tuesday in front of a Senate committee. The panel is expected to vote next week to advance the measure to the full Senate. If approved by lawmakers, it would go on the statewide ballot later this year.

An official with the American Civil Liberties Union testified against the measure. She said it would deny equal treatment to gay and lesbian couples and could hurt the state's economy.

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