Texas advances bill to let judges refuse to marry gays

Two men holding hands

A bill has been preliminarily approved in Texas, which would allow judges and officials to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licences.

The bill would defend any judge or official with a religious objection to same-sex marriage.

The proposed by was put forward by Senator Brian Birdwell.

It passed on Tuesday with 21-10. It has a clause which means judges can only refuse if another official steps in to issue the legal documents for marriage.

But it does allow documents to be sent electronically from another county.

Those opposed to the bill say it is in violation of a 2015 US Supreme Court ruling which legalised same-sex marriage across all 50 states.

Birdwell claims with his bill he is protecting the religious beliefs of county clerks and judges.

He claims, apparently not realising the irony of his statement: “If we don’t do this, we are discriminating against people of faith.”

Birdwell earlier this year sponsored another bill which would protect religious doctors who refuse to treat gay people.

The bill, submitted by Texas legislators Charles Perry, Bryan Hughes and Brian Birdwell, prevents authorities that issue occupational licenses across a range of professions from taking action based on people’s “religious objections”.

Hillary Clinton this week praised a bill that would fine men for masturbating.

The proposal, introduced in the US state of Texas, would fine men $100 (£82) for masturbating, unless they do it in an approved medical facility.

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