The Georgia House of Representatives on
Thursday overwhelmingly approved a bill that aims to protect clergy
from being forced to marry gay and lesbian couples.
Dubbed the “Pastor Protection Act,”
House Bill 757 sailed through the chamber with a 161-0 vote.
Republican Representative Kevin Tanner
said on the House floor Thursday that he heard from a constituent who
said that she worried that the state would jail her husband for
refusing to marry gay couples.
“This is not something that churches
should have to worry about in the United States and our state,”
said Tanner, the bill's sponsor.
Opponents of the bill say that it is
unnecessary since current law protects religious officials and no
state or federal law currently requires that they perform such
The bill now heads to the Senate.