Jefferson City, MO (AP) The GOP-led Missouri Senate has given initial approval to a proposal to amend the Missouri Constitution to provide further religious protections for those objecting to gay marriage.
The 23-9 vote Wednesday came after Republicans broke a more than 30-hour Democratic filibuster.
The measure would prohibit government penalties against business owners and individuals who cite a “sincere religious belief” while declining to provide services involving “expressional or artistic creation” for same-sex weddings.
It also would shield clergy and worship places that decline to participate in such weddings.
Debate began Monday afternoon. Republicans used a rare procedural move Wednesday to force a vote and end what has been the longest continuous debate in recent Missouri history.
The measure needs a second vote of approval to move to the House.