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Bill to protect clergy from performing marriages passes West Virginia House


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The House of Delegates passed a bill Tuesday that would give legal protections to religious clergymen who decline to affirm marriages that conflict with their religious beliefs.

House Bill 4010 is now en route to the state Senate after its 90-5 passage vote.

The bill shields clergymen like priests, rabbis or imams from legal liability if they refuse to solemnize a marriage that contradicts their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

One of the few to oppose the bill, Delegate Mike Pushkin, D-Kanawha, bristled with House Judiciary Chairman John Shott, R-Mercer, accusing the legislation’s supporters of pandering to voters as an election season draws near, citing a lack of evidence of a problem for the bill to solve.

He said the bill just repeats protections that already exist and is just a waste of time.

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