Miss. House Panel OK's Faith Protections Bill

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In Mississippi, a state House panel has passed a bill to protect religious rights.

The Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act prevents state and local governments from putting a substantial burden on religious practices.

The original version of the bill was similar to the Arizona measure vetoed Feb. 26.

Unlike the Arizona bill, the new Mississippi measure is limited to government action and excludes private action.

Opponents said the legislation is vaguely worded and could lead to discrimination against gays and other groups. But supporters said the bill could reinforce the Constitution's religious rights.

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