Kentucky Senate moves bills promoting religious expression

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – The Kentucky state Senate is taking action on bills designed to promote religious expression in public schools and businesses.

A Senate committee on Thursday approved a bill that would allow public schools to put on artistic or theatrical programs with religious themes. The bill is in response to a Johnson County Elementary School that removed biblical passages from a student production of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” last year.

The committee also approved a bill that would shield businesses and ministers from being forced to do things contrary to their religious beliefs. The bill comes after the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission ordered a Christian t-shirt company to print shirts for a gay pride festival. A state judge overturned the order. The Kentucky Court of Appeals is reviewing the case.