AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Republicans are abruptly pushing a new religious objection measure after the U.S. Supreme Court heard historic arguments over same-sex marriage.
Republican state Sen. Craig Estes' bill would excuse clergy members from officiating marriages that violate their beliefs. Although he insists the timing is coincidental, he noted that the issue was raised by Justice Antonin Scalia this week.
Democrats are balking over both the bill's content and the fact it was introduced long after filing deadlines in the Texas Senate had passed.
A hearing scheduled for Thursday was temporarily delayed after Democrats objected to the short notice.
Some gay rights activists have felt that backlash over religious objection measures in Indiana and Arkansas had been largely stalling divisive measures in Texas until now.