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NC Lawmakers Tap Brakes On Religious Freedom Bill

Rep. Tim Moore is the GOP's choice for Speaker of the House
NC General Assembly

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore says a religious freedom bill is not moving forward anytime soon.

The controversial measure filed last week would give private business owners the ability to deny service to someone based on their personal religious beliefs.

Opponents say it will lead to discrimination against gays, lesbians, and potentially others in the state. During a hastily called news conference Tuesday afternoon, Moore said he needs to see how the bill would help North Carolina's brand.

"My thought though is that the high priorities we have right now are about job creation, improving our roads, improving education. I wanna find out how this bill accomplishes those objectives. What does it do to move North Carolina's brand forward," Moore said to reporters in his office.

A similar bill was signed into law by Indiana Governor Mike Pence last week. The CEO of Apple as well as statements from NASCAR, the NCAA and NBA have publicly denounced the bill. Lawmakers in Arkansas have also recently approved a religious freedom measure. Along with skepticism along the lines of economic development, Speaker Moore made clear his desire to deal with this proposal carefully.

"It's going to take some time - there's not going to be a rush to simply push this bill through. I know there are some who wanted to try to rush to have a committee hearing on this bill this week. And that very simply is not going to happen," Moore stated.

Governor Pat McCrory has also come out in opposition to the measure. He questioned the measure, though did not explicitly say whether he would veto the bill should it reach him.

Jeff Tiberii is the co-host of WUNC's "Due South." Jeff joined WUNC in 2011. During his 20 years in public radio, he was Morning Edition Host at WFDD and WUNC’s Greensboro Bureau Chief and later, the Capitol Bureau Chief. Jeff has covered state and federal politics, produced the radio documentary “Right Turn,” launched a podcast, and was named North Carolina Radio Reporter of the Year four times.
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