The Florida Senate on Thursday passed a bill that protects churches from being forced to marry gay and lesbian couples.

The so-called “Pastor Protection Act” cleared the Republican-led Senate with a 23-15 vote. The bill cleared the House on Wednesday.

The bill's sponsor, Representative Scott Plakon, a Republican from Longwood, has as much as admitted that his legislation serves no real purpose, saying that it's not “reactionary” but an “extra layer of protection” for clergy opposed to marrying gay couples.

Opponents of the bill point out that clergy are currently protected under the First Amendment.

Rep. David Richardson, a Democrat from Miami Beach and the Legislature's only openly gay member, described the legislation as “an insult to the gay community.”

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Governor Rick Scott plans to sign the bill into law.