Alabama Senate hearing bill to allow religious objections to any marriage
A Senate committee in Alabama is hearing a proposal to allow people to refuse to perform any marriage for any reason.
The Freedom of Religion in Marriage Protection Act allow officiants such as ministers and judges to opt out of performing marriages for religious or other reasons.
Same-sex marriage is an ongoing debate in Alabama, with around 500 couples marrying in the brief period after the ban was overturned, but before a judge ordered a halt on marriage licenses being granted to same-sex couples.
In that period, many officials denied licenses to same-sex couples or refused to marry them.
The bill, proposed by Republican Jim Hill, has already passed the House of Representatives. It’s advocates say they have heard from ministers and judges who are concerned they will have to perform marriages they disagree with.
Democrat Patricia Todd, the only gay lawmaker in Alabama, said: “This is very hurtful to me as an openly gay person”.