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SD Bill Lets Clergy Refuse To Perform Gay Marriage

January 30, 2014, 4:41 AM

SD Bill Lets Clergy Refuse To Perform Gay Marriage
PIERRE, SD -

South Dakota lawmakers are considering a measure that would allow clergy and religious organizations to refuse to take part in gay marriage services.

The South Dakota Constitution and state laws already ban gay marriage. But sponsors say they proposed the measure because courts might overturn the ban, just as they have in other states.

The measure would prevent clergy from being forced to perform same-sex marriages. It also says they could not be sued or charged with crimes if they refuse to take part in gay marriages.

The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on the bill Thursday.

No hearing date has been set for a companion measure that would give the same protection to businesses that refuse to provide services for same-sex weddings.

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