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Legislation would require clergy to sign off on Michigan marriages

Melissa Baldwin
Creative Commons

A state lawmaker wants religious leaders to have sole responsibility when it comes to performing marriages in Michigan.

Under legislation introduced  last week, judges and other public officials would no longer be able to officiate weddings.

Instead, all marriage certificates issued in Michigan would require a clergy member's signature.

State Rep. Todd Courser, R-Lapeer, the bill's sponsor, said he introduced the measure in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court's upcoming decision on gay marriage

"None of these bills would stop [gay marriage]," Courser said. "What they'll do is protect those folks from being forced to perform gay marriages as part of their official duties." 

Courser said he's working on additional legislation that would protect pastors and other religious leaders from being forced to perform gay marriages.

The Supreme Court is expected to issue its gay marriage ruling by the end of the month.

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