By Pete Kasperowicz - 11/07/13 12:07 PM EST
Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) on Thursday became the first senator to speak on the floor against a gay rights bill that the Senate is expected to pass by the early afternoon.
"I oppose discrimination of any kind, and that includes discrimination, however, also of individuals or institutions for their faith and values," Coats said. "This often gets lost, and it has been lost in this discussion."
"So I feel it's vital for this body to stand up for our country's longstanding right to the freedom of religion and speech," he added. "For these reasons, I am not able to support this current legislation."
Coats said specifically that while the bill does include some protections for religious liberty, those protections are "vaguely defined," and don't apply as broadly as he wants to religious organizations. As one example, he said faith-based daycare providers could be forced under the bill to hire people with "views contrary" to those of the organization.