Lawmaker Wants Arizona Pastors Protected From Performing Same-Sex Marriages

January 06, 2014

A state lawmaker who is also a pastor has unveiled legislation designed to protect himself and other religious leaders from being forced to perform same-sex marriages.

Rep. Steve Montenegro says there is no current danger of that because of Arizona’s law banning such unions. But he says the federal courts have increasingly overturned state bans. He says his legislation is an effort to preclude that.

“As representatives of the people here in Arizona, we want to make sure we're doing our part to protect the religious freedoms of pastors, ministers, and the churches,” Montenegro said.

He concedes that even if his measure becomes law, there is nothing to prevent the courts from declaring it unconstitutional. But he says he wants to prevent any surprises.