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Bill would protect clergy from gay weddings
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SACRAMENTO (AP) — Religious officials who do not want to perform gay weddings will not have to worry about jeopardizing their nonprofit status if a bill approved by the state Assembly becomes California law.

SB1140 seeks to allay concerns from clergy that if gay marriage is legalized, they could be forced to perform gay weddings that contradict their religious beliefs.

The bill passed the Assembly 48-24 Tuesday with many Republicans voting no. It now returns to the state Senate.

Democratic Sen. Mark Leno, of San Francisco, says the bill is intended to reassure clergy that their right to freedom of religion includes the freedom not to perform same-sex marriages.

Bill would prevent

shackling of pregnant inmates

Corrections officials would be prohibited from using leg or wrist shackles on pregnant inmates when they are in labor or have just given birth under a bill headed to the California governor's desk.

The state Assembly unanimously approved AB2530 Tuesday, sending it to Gov. Jerry Brown.

The bill by Democratic Assemblywoman Toni Atkins of San Diego prohibits using leg irons, wrist chains or handcuffs behind the body on women who are in labor or in transit to a hospital while in labor, as well as after they give birth.

Lawmakers approve

death benefit extension

California lawmakers have sent the governor a contentious bill that would make it easier for dependents of police officers and firefighters to collect workers' compensation benefits after their death.

B2451, by Assembly Speaker John Perez, would double the period in which death benefits could be claimed to almost nine years. The benefits apply to police and firefighters diagnosed with conditions such as cancer that are presumably job-related.