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Republicans trying to stop gay marriage by banning all non-religious weddings

Nick Duffy June 18, 2015

Desperate Republican politicians from Michigan are already trying to evade an expected Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage – by trying to ban all weddings outside of churches.

The US Supreme Court is expected to rule by the end of the month in the case of Obergefell v Hodges – which could bring equal marriage to all 50 US states after years of litigation and political battles.

However, anti-gay Republican lawmakers are not ready to give up the battle – and a number have been penning increasingly bizarre legislation to try and pre-empt a court ruling.

Following flop bills from Republican Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz, who incredibly tried to pass a specific law to ban the court from deciding on the issue, Michigan lawmakers have taken an even more desperate approach.

Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat, who sit in the Michigan House of Representatives, have filed House Bill 4732 – which would make it illegal for anyone who is not a “minister of the Gospel, cleric, or religious practitioner” to perform weddings.

Incredibly, despite the supposed separation of church and state in the US, EclectaBlog points out that pair want to devolve the issue of marriage entirely to churches, presumably so they can then hide behind ‘religious freedom’ laws to avoid marrying gays.

The bill states: “Marriages may only be solemnized by… a minister of the gospel, cleric or religious practitioner, anywhere in this state, if the minister of the gospel, cleric, or religious practitioner is ordained or authorised to solemnise marriages according to the usages of the denomination.”

A second bill, from the pair, House Bill 4733, would restrict the issuing of marriage licenses to clergy also – while a third bill, House Bill 4731, would ban marriages in secret.

Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage would be one of the first to be impacted any Supreme Court ruling – as a  stayed ruling striking it down has already been made.

More: civil partnership, civil union, equal marriage, Gay, gay weddings, lesbian, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage equality, Michigan, politicians, Republican, same sex weddings, Union, US, wedding

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