TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A large crowd is rallying at the Kansas Statehouse against what the state's Catholic bishops and other social conservatives view as attacks by the federal government on religious freedom.
Gov. Sam Brownback and U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran were among the scheduled speakers at Friday afternoon's event. The crowd appeared to swell to several thousand, and Brownback said it was the biggest rally he'd seen at the Statehouse.
The rally is part of a nationwide campaign prompted by a mandate announced by President Barack Obama earlier this year requiring most employers to provide health insurance covering birth control.
The mandate included a religious exemption for houses of worship but not religiously affiliated hospitals, charities, universities and social service agencies. Obama later announced a modification, but Catholic bishops nationwide viewed it as inadequate.
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