West Virginians clash over religious freedom bill at hearing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — People were divided during a public hearing Friday at the West Virginia Capitol on a bill that would codify the right of residents to challenge government regulations that interfere with their religious beliefs. People in support said it’s needed because of a growing threat to their constitutional right to practice their faith. A larger group of people who spoke against the bill said they are worried the proposal could be used as a tool to discriminate against LGBTQ people and other marginalized groups. The bill passed the House Judiciary Committee this week and is before the full House of Delegates. It would require a government entity to have a compelling reason to burden someone’s constitutional right to freedom of religion.