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Georgia House OKs bill protecting clergy who refuse to perform same-sex weddings

“This is an important protection,” Setzler said. “But friends, we do have to do more. We were elected to protect the rights of all people.”

Ralston, giving a rare speech from the House well, called the bill an opportunity to focus “where there is agreement and mutual trust.” Citing Abraham Lincoln’s use of the Bible verse “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” Ralston said the bill could create “the first productive discussion” on a charged issue.

“There are two approaches that we can take when it comes to issues of great significance, like the one that we’re considering here today,” he said. “We can draw arbitrary lines in the sand. We can lash out at those who oppose us and remain intractable. Or we can seek out common ground and build trust and move forward together.”

The bill now goes to the state Senate for review.

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