Proposed bill lets Florida churches say no to gay marriage

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Republican Rep. Scott Plakon said his bill simply gives churches an added layer of protection.

Republican Rep. Scott Plakon said his bill simply gives churches an added layer of protection.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A proposed law in Florida would allow churches to refuse to hold gay marriages, a right the bill sponsor admits they already have.

The House Civil Justice Committee approved the bill Wednesday on a 9-4 vote.

Republican Rep. Scott Plakon said his bill would simply give churches another layer of protection. He acknowledged that he knows of no cases in which a church was forced to marry a gay couple.

But Plakon said no one knows what could happen in the future.

Dozens of pastors attended the meeting, most in support of the bill. Others, however, spoke against it, saying that they are already protected under the U.S. Constitution.

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