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Bishop Burns Church needs legal shield to deny samesex services

first_imgA Catholic bishop in Juneau told the House Judiciary Committee that the church reversed a 75-year-old policy of allowing people of other faiths to get married in one of its landmark chapels after same-sex marriage became legal.Juneau Bishop Edward Burns at a dedication ceremony for a park in September 2012. (Photo by Rich Moniak)Edward Burns, head of the Juneau diocese, testified that the new policy applies to other popular Catholic-owned wedding destinations in the state as well and would likely continue unless the legislature passes a marriage solemnization bill.The committee heard testimony on Healy Republican Rep. Dave Talerico’s bill Thursday. It exempts clergy from civil or criminal liability for refusing to perform marriages for same-sex couples.The U.S. Constitution already provides protections for churches. However, Burns told the committee he believes those protections to be eroding.last_img read more