TX Senate Advances Bill Allowing County Clerks to Refuse to Issue Marriage Licenses to Gay Couples

Brian Birdwell

The Texas Senate today advanced a bill that would allow county clerks to refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay couples if they object based on religious beliefs.

The Houston Chronicle reports:

State Sen. Brian Birdwell (pictured), a Granbury Republican who authored the measure, said the Senate Bill 522 would allow clerks to recuse themselves from issuing a same-sex license and would instead assign their duties to other clerks, a judge or even a special clerk.

The vote was 21-10, mostly along party lines. A final vote is expected within a few days.

“This provides a way for clerks to exercise their profoundly held religious beliefs under the First Amendment, and at the same time protect the rights of couples who are coming in for a marriage license,” Birdwell said. “Right now, there is not an alternate mechanism for a clerk who is not willing to issue a license because of their sincerely held beliefs.”

A final vote is expected later this week.

The post TX Senate Advances Bill Allowing County Clerks to Refuse to Issue Marriage Licenses to Gay Couples appeared first on Towleroad.

via Towleroad Gay News http://ift.tt/2p3h1xG

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