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CA State Sen Intros ‘Religious Protections’ Bill

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Out Gay California State Senator Mark Leno this {last} week introduced legislation that would exempt members of the clergy from having to perform any marriage ceremonies they choose not to, for any reason.

The bill is sponsored by gay rights group Equality California. Executive Director Geoff Kors said those protections already exist under state and federal constitutions – but putting them specifically into marriage code will take a weapon away from gay marriage opponents.

Kors: “Right wing groups lied deliberately to the public, and misled Californiana, and told them clergy would be arrested if they did not marry same sex couples – that churches would lose their tax-exempt status if they refused to marry a same-sex couple.”

Kors said with another gay marriage battle at the ballot box looming, this bill would assure voters that any proposed gay marriage law would not infringe on religious freedom.

Kors: “It’s making sure that we actually put in the California codes, where everyone can see them, what the truth is, which is that religious freedom will be protected if same-sex couples are allowed to marry again in California”

Kors said he expects the bill to pass the Senate during the Spring, and Assembly during the Summer, but that Governor Schwarzenegger has not indicated whether he will sign the bill or veto it, if it were to reach his desk.

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Written by OutQ News staff

January 29, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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