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Published On: Fri, May 15th, 2015

Texas Senate passes bill to protect pastors refusing gay weddings

The Texas Senate has approved a bill that would protect pastors from legal action if they refuse to officiate same-sex ceremonies.

Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) presented S.B. 2065, entitled “Freedom of Religion with Respect to Recognizing or Performing Certain Marriages.”

“A religious organization, an organization supervised or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization, an individual employed by a religious organization while acting in the scope of that employment, or a clergy or minister may not be required to solemnize any marriage, provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization, formation, or celebration of any marriage, or treat
any marriage as valid for any purpose if the action would cause the organization or individual to violate a sincerely held religious belief,” it reads.

The legislation also prevents faith-based organizations from being sued for declining to directly or indirectly participate in the event.

Gay pride american flag“A refusal to provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges [under this law] is not the basis for a civil or criminal cause of action or any other action by this state or a political subdivision of this state to penalize or withhold benefits or privileges, including tax exemptions or governmental contracts, grants, or licenses, from any protected organization or individual,” the bill states.

State Senators debated the bill, with some stating that it is necessary due to the growing pressure on Christians to accommodate homosexuality and others calling the legislation discriminatory. The publication Towelroad classified the bill as a continuance of a “full-fledged assault on same-sex marriage.”

“Pastors’ First Amendment rights are very important, and they should not be caused to do something that violates their sincerely held beliefs,” Estes told Breitbart.

“I just hope you’re not getting people afraid of something that’s not a problem,” Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston) asserted. “I don’t see what the problem is that you’re trying to solve.”

“Senator Whitmire apparently lives in a parallel universe that does not have the Human Rights Campaign, President Barack Obama and Mayors like Annise Parker in Houston who are willing and committed to using police powers to force acceptance of the LGBTQIA agenda,” Dave Welch, president of Texas Pastor Council Action countered.

 

 

About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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