The legislation would protect public employees from punishment if they cite religious beliefs in denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
A South Carolina state senator is introducing a bill that would allow judges and other public officials to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples without facing punishment.
Sen. Lee Bright, a Republican, prefiled the legislation last week, ahead of the legislative session that begins in January, Columbia TV station WLTX reports. “The bill would protect people employed in probate or clerk or court offices from liability or punishments if they object to granting same-sex marriage licenses based on a sincere religious belief,” the station notes. In South Carolina, probate judges’ offices issue marriage licenses.
“At the end of the day I want to know I did all I could, and I think it’s something we need to do to protect these judges so they can serve in these honorable positions without feeling like they betrayed their faith,” Bright told WLTX.