Alabama Gay Marriage Update
A bill that gives civil immunity to churches, ministers, society organizations and other religious affiliated groups who refuse to officiate at or recognize weddings that violate their religious beliefs has been approved. The House Judiciary Committee voted 9 to 4 on Thursday to approve the bill. Republican Representative Jim Hill said he has gotten phone calls from ministers and probate judges who are concerned they will be forced to marry gay couples. Opponents say the bill protects discrimination and could have much broader effects. The bill does not mention same-sex weddings. A spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union said the bill could allow a broad-range of discriminatory practices.