LANSING (WWJ) – In Lansing this week, a state Senate committee will consider a controversial proposal that could exempt people from certain laws–if those laws violate their religious beliefs.

But Democratic State Senator Jim Ananich of Flint doesn’t like the idea. He says religious protections are already on the books, and new laws aren’t needed.

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“I think they have protections like that now, they don’t need to write special … protections into the law – the whole purpose is to discriminate against people,” said Ananich.

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Supporters of the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” say a similar federal law was thrown out, with the Supreme Court saying it should be replaced at the state level.

“You’ve got rich case law history of legislation like this in many other states, 19 other states, and the federal government for over 20 years – and any of the wild claims we have heard just have not come to be true,” said Tom Hickson with the Michigan Catholic Conference.

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Opponents say such a law would be a license to discriminate against gays and others.