While the United States Supreme Court considers the issue of same sex marriage lawmakers in one state are not taking any chances on what the nation's highest court decides.

The Texas legislature is advancing a measure that would protect churches and their pastors from lawsuits if they decline requests to perform same sex marriages.

The Texas Senate passed the "Pastor Protection Act" (PPA) earlier this week.  Now the measure awaits consideration by the Texas House.

Gay marriage is banned by the State of Texas.  However, the court could strike down the validity of that law this summer.

Proponents of the "Pastor Protection Act," formally Senate Bill 2065, say it is designed to protect those whose religious beliefs do not permit them to perform the ceremonies. Opponents believe that the legislation could be used more broadly to discriminate against those in same sex relationships.