Contact Us,The House Civil Justice Committee is holding a hearing today on a proposed new law called Pastor Protection Act, which is designed to supposedly protect Florida clergy from performing marriages they deem “unholy.” But many, including some pastors and ministers, are arguing that the law is unnecessary since clergy are already protected by the constitution. Same sex marriage advocates say the law is designed merely to be a stepping stone to more future laws that could impede progress for the LGBT community.
“Some fear that the innocuous sounding bill could become a vehicle late in the session for other religious exemption or anti LGBT proposals,” cheap jerseys civil rights advocates Equality Florida said via a statement Wednesday. They also called the law “needlessly divisive.”
“The Constitution already guarantees religious freedom,” Equality Florida adds.
Orlando area Rep. Scott Plakon, who wrote the law, has said that it’s “a good idea to put this extra layer of protection explicitly in Florida law.”
Plakon argues that the law would protect clergy who believe that same sex marriage as something that’s against their religion, and are worried. that, in light of recent events, the government will one day force them to marry same sex couples.
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Specifically the bill, HB 43 and SB 110, is presented as a measure needed to religious leaders and institutions, but some pastors have spoken out against the bill.
In an oped in the Florida Times Union, the Rev. Clare Warren Chance called the bill “inflammatory,” and that it “perpetuates homophobia.”
From the oped:
All religious professionals of every persuasion have the right to choose not to marry a couple for any reason.
I have, for instance, chosen to encourage a couple to get further counseling and postpone a wedding despite all the hubbub that caused.
I am not a public official.
I do not have to marry anyone. And I do not need the state government or anyone else me in making those choices.
“I think this is an attempt to foist other laws to stop people from having their civil rights,” Rev. Bryan G. Fulwider said in a radio interview. “I think it’s really dangerous.”
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