States plan renewed debate on LGBT rights, religious freedom
JEFFERSON CITY - Lawmakers in numerous states are preparing for a new round of battles over gay rights and religious freedoms in 2016 following last summer's Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage.
In some states, lawmakers will be pushing discrimination protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. But other lawmakers are pushing back against the court ruling by proposing religious exemptions for nonprofits and business owners that object to gay marriage.
States also could be moving in opposite directions on gun rights and abortion.
Those potentially divisive debates will play out as legislators confront difficult financial issues, such as budget shortfalls and calls to boost funding for public schools and roads.
States also will be dealing with several emerging issues, such as opiate addictions and regulations for fantasy sports.