TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — A state House bill that would protect churches or preachers from lawsuits if they refused to perform same-sex marriages is headed to a full floor vote where it will likely pass.
The House Judiciary Committee approved the so-called “pastor protection” measure after lengthy debate Thursday. That was the final committee stop for the bill in the House. It still faces two more Senate committee hearings before it can go to a floor vote there.
The bill passed on a near-party line vote in the committee. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda of Tallahassee was the only Democrat voting in favor.
Nearly 40 pastors and gay rights activists spoke on the bill. Most of the clergymen favored the bill but several representing large, mainstream denominations opposed it, saying it’s not needed.
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