Lawmaker drops religious freedom bill, says it was 'misinterpreted'

Lawmaker drops religious freedom bill, says it was 'misinterpreted'
Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise, speaks on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 in the Idaho Capitol in Boise, in favor of his bill that argues is necessary to protect businesses from being forced to serve customers whose lifestyles offend their faith traditions, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 in the Idaho Capito in Boise. The measure cleared the House State Affairs Panel 11-5 and is now up for possible amendment on the House floor. (AP Photo/John Miller)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A lawmaker promoting disputed legislation to protect religious people who refuse to serve gays, lesbians and others to whom they object from lawsuits says he'll withdraw the bill, for now.

Republican Rep. Lynn Luker of Boise says his measure was intended to protect the free exercise of religion, but was misinterpreted to be a "sword for discrimination."

A previous hearing on his measure lasted nearly four hours and drew hundreds to the Capitol.

Luker says he respects concerns he heard and as a result plans to take more time to work on the bill, which he proposed in the wake of cases in Oregon and New Mexico where gay people who were refused service brought claims against businesses.

On Wednesday, Luker said it's unlikely his measure would resurface this session.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review