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Conservative Group Concerned About Religious Protections in Ill. Marriage Bill

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File photo of a Bishop holding a cross while leading mass. (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a Bishop holding a cross while leading mass. (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KMOX) - What religious protections are in the new same-sex marriage bill about to be signed into law by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn?

Not enough, according to some.

“For a church, the law expressly states that a minister does not have to solemnize a same-sex wedding or use his church facility for such a ceremony,” Peter Breen, an attorney with the Chicago-based socially conservative legal group the Thomas More Society, explains.

But that’s as far as the bill goes in protecting religious organizations who oppose the law, he says.

“The law says nothing about whether the school, the school attached to the church, has to recognize same-sex relationships, same-sex marriages, under law,” he said.

And nowhere, Breen says, are there safeguards for other religious organizations, religious non-profits, or individuals – like pastry chefs, florists and photographers – who might not want to participate in a gay couple’s wedding activities.

Breen predicts many of these businesses will be forced to either close their doors or operate against their faith. The Thomas More Society believes the issue will result in hundreds, or even thousands, of lawsuits.

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