Bill introduced allowing individuals to refuse performing same sex marriages

A House Judiciary committee will hear testimony Wednesday afternoon on a bill that protects religious officials and others who refuse to perform same sex marriages.

Rep. Dave Talerico, R- Healy, at a House Majority press availability, Feb. 4, 2016. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)
Rep. Dave Talerico, R- Healy, at a House Majority press availability, Feb. 4, 2016. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

The bill is sponsored by Fairbanks Republican Rep. Dave Talerico and mirrors one making its way through the Senate. It exempts people who perform marriage ceremonies from civil or criminal liability for refusing to perform them for same-sex couples. It also prohibits the state or municipalities from penalizing a person who is legally capable of solemnizing a marriage who refuses facilities, goods or services to same-sex couples.

Same-sex marriage has prompted many states to consider protections for religious officials and those who can perform marriages. At least 22 states currently have proposals to address marriage solemnization and religious exemptions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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