Religious freedom bill passes Louisiana House

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A bill aimed at making it harder for government institutions to infringe on religious expression has passed the House by a vote of 98-1.

Backers said the measure toughens the legal standards a government agency would have to meet in court in order to, for example, stop someone from preaching in the street.

Some who voted for the bill questioned whether it was really needed and worried that it could have unintended consequences.

Rep. Chris Roy of Alexandria gave the potential example of a Muslim extremist who preaches violence. Such a person could use the law to his advantage, Roy said.

Sen. Danny Martiny's bill has already passed the Senate but still faces a vote there on various House amendments. The legislative session ends Monday.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)