- Associated Press - Thursday, March 31, 2016

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A 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.

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.

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