Utah Senate passes bill allowing officials to refuse to marry same-sex couples

Utah Senate chamber

Utah Senate chamber File

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah state Senate has approved a proposal to allow government employees to refuse to marry same-sex couples if they opt out of their right to marry anyone.

Utah Senate chamberFile

Utah Senate chamber

The Senate cast a 24-5 vote along party lines to pass the bill (SB 297) Monday night. Democrats opposed the bill, which now moves to the House.

Layton Republican Sen. Stuart Adams sponsors the bill, which would also require counties to have a designated person on hand to marry any couple, even if the county clerk opts out.

It also says religious organizations would not have to recognize marriages that go against their beliefs.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah is opposed to the measure because it allows government officials to refuse to serve someone for religious reasons.

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