COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A Republican candidate for Missouri attorney general wants the Legislature to exempt businesses and religious groups from participating in same-sex couples' marriage ceremonies.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that Republican Josh Hawley pitched the proposal to legislative leaders this month. Hawley is a University of Missouri School of Law associate professor. He faces a primary against Columbia Sen. Kurt Schaefer.
A leader of gay rights advocacy group PROMO says Missouri law already allows businesses to refuse gay or transgender customers. Hawley's proposal is part of a larger response to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in June that legalized gay marriage.
Some conservative groups are pushing for measures they say will protect religious freedoms of businesses that might oppose such unions. Advocacy groups want more safeguards against discrimination.