Religious objections bill rejected by La. House committee

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana lawmakers have shelved a divisive religious objections bill pushed by Gov. Bobby Jindal that critics said could sanction discrimination against same-sex couples.

A House legal committee voted 10-2 Tuesday for a procedural move designed to kill the proposal, ending weeks of controversy about the bill and handing Jindal a significant defeat for his legislative agenda.

The proposal would have prohibited the state from denying individuals, businesses and nonprofits any licenses, benefits, jobs or tax deductions because of action taken "in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction" about marriage.

Sponsor Rep. Mike Johnson, a Bossier City Republican, said he is not giving up and will try to force another hearing on the bill. But lawmakers have said the state has more pressing concerns, particularly a hefty budget shortfall.

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