Gay marriage looms large over Texas religious objection bill

By WILL WEISSERT
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas lawmakers are getting a taste of the religious objections issue that sparked uproar elsewhere - with some supporters arguing that church freedoms must be protected, but others openly decrying gay marriage.

Top Republicans in the state Legislature have made a last-minute attempt to revive a bill excusing clergy from overseeing marriages that violate their beliefs.

The measure does not go as far as broader proposals in Indiana and Arkansas. Those made national headlines after opponents said they would sanction discrimination against gay people in the name of religious freedom.

Still, emotions ran high at a Senate committee hearing on the Texas bill Monday.

Some of the dozens of pastors who lined up to support the measure argued that gay marriage is immoral with one even suggesting it "offends God."

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