Kansas House narrowly defeats state Religious Freedom Restoration Act
In something of a surprise move, the Kansas House rejected a Religious Freedom Restoration Act that would ordered local governments to "not substantially burden a person's or group's exercise of religion." "The bill had been given preliminary approval Wednesday on a 65-58 vote," The Kansas City Star reports (the bill needed 63 to pass). "Within 24 hours, [the bill] had lost four votes. The final vote was 61-59."

"The arguments were the same this year as last year" when the bill passed, said Rep. Dan Williams, who sponsored the measure. The defeat, he told the Associated Press, "makes no sense."

The bill would have faced a tougher time in the Senate, where last year's bill languished and died. Twelve states have adopted similar measures since 1997, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal version of the bill.

Meanwhile, the Kansas House is considering another bill that would require the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to regulate abortion clinics' facilities, equipment, personnel, patient screening, abortion procedures and incident reporting.

Focus on the Family calls for boycott of Big Brothers-Big Sisters
Focus on the Family devoted its radio program yesterday to discussing mentoring (audio), and one of its main points was calling for a boycott of mentor program Big Brothers-Big Sisters for its mandating local chapters to allow homosexuals to work with children in the program.

"The national leadership of Big Brothers has received a landslide of criticism from parents, pro-family groups, members of Congress and even its own local directors," Focus Vice President Bill Maier said. "But they stubbornly refuse to reconsider this ill-advised ...

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