- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 1, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - After tearful debate, West Virginia senators voted to ensure local nondiscrimination ordinances and vaccination requirements aren’t compromised under a religious objections bill.

Senators voted 23-11 Tuesday on an amendment that says people can’t break nondiscrimination laws on religious grounds, including ordinances in eight cities. The state doesn’t list gay or transgender people in housing and employment protections, so several cities passed protections.

The amendment prohibits people from ignoring child vaccination laws and ordinances.

Visibly crying, GOP Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael voiced support for the amendment.

Republican Senate President Bill Cole, who is running for governor, voted against the amendment.

The bill is up for a vote Wednesday. Opponents, including many businesses, have voiced concern that it could sanction discrimination in the name of religion.

It would return to the House.


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