Same-Sex Marriage Spurs Floridian Legislators to Propose New Religious Protection Acts
The Pastor Protection Act and a proposed “Clergy and Religious Institutions Tax-Exempt Protection Act” are currently gaining support in Florida in the weeks following the United States Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. The bills would protect religious individuals and organizations from federal retaliation should they refuse to perform same-sex marriages or recognize their validity in any other way. Specific portions of the bills also express the want to ensure that tax-emption statuses are also secured for churches that do not wish to perform same-sex marriages.
The acts are being drafted and proposed in accordance with many Floridians’ opinion that the Supreme Court ruling ruling directly violated religious freedoms and states’ rights. Proponents of the bills argue that defending religious rights must be paramount, as such protection is outlined in the First Amendment. Some go on to say that the bills have nothing to do with removing the rights of the LGBTQ community but rather deal with protecting the rights of the religious community.
Are the Proposed Bills Necessary?
In the Supreme Court’s ruling, there is no direct mention of requiring a religious institution to provide marriage services to same-sex couples. Rather, the decision requires government bodies to legally recognize and allow same-sex marriages and relevant benefits. Even before the ruling, church involvement was not absolutely required for two people to become legally married.
Although the proposed acts are not exactly necessary, their supporters feel that they certainly cannot hurt the situation. If anything, they believe if the bills passed, they would ensure that nothing would change due to the Supreme Court’s ruling that was never intended to change.
If you live in Florida and have any questions or concerns involving a same-sex family law dispute that might be influenced by your newfound rights, contact the Albaugh Law Firm today. Our St. Augustine divorce attorneys have taken intentional care to study and learn the new laws so that we can provide our clients with the excellent service and representation they deserve.
Schedule your free consultation and get started today.