TALLAHASSEE, FL – Governor Rick Scott signed HB 43, known as the “Pastor Protection Act,” into law on Thursday, March 10. This law protects clergy, churches, and religious organizations and their employees from civil action for refusing to perform same-sex marriages.
Rep. Scott Plakon sponsored HB 43 and began drafting the bill before the bizarre U.S. Supreme Court 5-4 opinion regarding marriage. Rep. Plakon said that a majority of the bill came from a similar Texas law. The law provides that churches or religious organizations, related organizations, or certain individuals may not be required to solemnize any marriage or provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for related purposes if such action would violate sincerely held religious beliefs.
Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, recently spoke at a rally in Tallahassee advocating for the bill, when the Florida House of Representatives was considering its legislation.
“I am pleased that the Pastor Protection Act is now law in Florida. However, more protections are needed beyond just pastors and churches performing weddings. We should pass broad legislation that protects the religious freedom and conscience of all people who refuse to be conscripted into service of the so-called LGBT agenda, Staver said.
Staver continued, “This assault on marriage is really an attempt to obliterate Judeo-Christian morality, to destroy marriage and family, and is an attack on God who created male and female.”
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.