Fla. Senate OKs Bill Allowing Churches to Refuse Gay Weddings
The Florida state Senate passed a bill Thursday that protects churches from being forced to marry same-sex couples.
The bill will take effect July 1 if Gov. Rick Scott (R) signs it into law.
Senate Democrats who opposed the bill argued that churches are already protected by the Constitution.
But Republican state Sen. Aaron Bean said the measure would protect churches after the Supreme Court decided last year that same-sex marriage is legal.
He said the bill is about protecting churches from what could happen in the future.
"Have you ever heard of a senator or a representative that hopes their bill is never used or tested? I'm the first," he said. "Hopefully no one will ever challenge somebody in the practice of their religion. That will be a sad day in our nation, in our state. Some say that's where our nation is headed."