A Republican lawmaker in Alabama has
introduced a bill which seeks to allow probate judges and ministers
to refuse to marry gay and lesbian couples based their religious
Representative Jim Hill claims his bill
would protect religious freedom, but opponents argue it could open
the door to broader discrimination against gay couples.
The Senate Judiciary Committee on
Wednesday heard testimony about the bill, which has already cleared
the House, the AP reported.
Roughly 500 gay couples exchanged vows
earlier this year after a federal judge struck down Alabama's ban on
gay marriage. The Alabama Supreme Court responded with a ruling
ordering judges to stop
issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.
Hill said his bill was a response to
The Supreme Court next month is
expected to hand down a ruling challenging similar bans in four