Maryland Pastor Protection Act (HB 16)
This law was last updated on Sep 29, 2016
HB 16 would prohibit an official or a religious order or body from being required to solemnize or officiate a particular marriage or religious rite of a marriage if it violates the rules, customs, or religious beliefs of the religious order or body.
The bill would also prohibit any religious organization, nonprofit institution controlled by a religious organization, or any individual employed by a religious organization from being required to “provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges to an individual” if the request is “related to the solemnization of a marriage or celebration of a marriage that violates the entity’s religious beliefs.”
The First Amendment already covers the right of religious organizations to refuse to perform marriages that conflict with their religious beliefs.
In addition, religious organizations already have the right to refuse to participate in marriage ceremonies under Maryland law.