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Government/Politics

Abbott Gets Behind Fast-Moving Religious Objections Bill

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AUSTIN — Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is publicly getting behind a religious objections bill that is moving fast after the U.S. Supreme Court heard historic arguments over gay marriage.

Abbott tweeted Wednesday that he hopes to receive a Republican-backed measure that would allow clergy members to refuse officiating marriages that violate their beliefs. That Abbott supports the bill isn’t surprising. But it marks the first time he has publicly backed one of a number of proposals that opponents consider anti-gay.

Gay rights groups say the bill redundantly duplicates protections that already exist. Abbott tweeted that pastors’ religious liberty to perform weddings “must be protected.”

The bill was filed in the Senate on the same day last week that the Supreme Court heard the landmark gay marriage case.