Utah Senate passes bill for officials to refuse marriages

FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 file photo, Chris Serrano, left, and Clifton Webb embrace after being married, as people wait in line to get licenses outside of the marriage division of the Salt Lake County Clerk's Office in Salt Lake City. A federal judge on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 is set to consider a request from the state of Utah to block gay weddings that have been taking place since Friday when the state's same-sex marriage ban was overturned. (AP Photo/Kim Raff, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The state Senate has approved a proposal to allow Utah government employees to refuse to marry same-sex couples if they opt out of their right to marry anyone.

The Senate cast a 24-5 vote along party lines to pass the bill Monday night. Democrats opposed the bill, which now moves to the House.

Layton Republican Sen. Stuart Adams sponsors the bill, which would also require counties to have a designated person on hand to marry any couple, even if the county clerk opts out.

It also says religious organizations would not have to recognize marriages that go against their beliefs.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah is opposed to the measure because it allows government officials to refuse to serve someone for religious reasons.

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Online:

SB 297: http://1.usa.gov/1EknXYU

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