Pressure builds ahead of Missouri religious objections vote

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Pressure is mounting on a panel of 12 Missouri lawmakers who will decide the fate of a contested measure to protect businesses that oppose gay marriage.

At issue is a proposed constitutional amendment to ban government penalties against businesses that cite religion while denying some goods or services for same-sex weddings.

The measure is under national scrutiny following business backlash in states with laws seen by some as discriminatory to LGBT people, such as North Carolina.

Members of the Missouri House panel say LGBT-rights advocates, businesses, churches and friends and family are trying to sway how they vote.

If the bill doesn’t make it out of committee, it’s dead and won’t head to voters to decide this year.

The committee chairman says a vote is planned this week.