Ministers defy prohibition on endorsing candidates

SAN DIEGO (AP) — One of more than 1,500 ministers who planned to endorse candidates from their pulpits this weekend says he told his congregation that he'll cast his vote for Mitt Romney.

San Diego Pastor Jim Garlow is the national chairman of Pulpit Freedom Sunday, which challenges the IRS regulation barring tax-exempt churches from endorsing candidates or parties.

He says the law needs to be challenged to prove that it's an unconstitutional violation of pastors' free speech and religious rights.

Garlow says some clergy participating in Pulpit Freedom Sunday probably endorsed President Barack Obama. But Garlow says he told his congregation that he believes Obama's support for legal abortion and gay marriage violates Biblical principles.

The San Diego pastor says he didn't tell his congregation to join him in voting for Romney, but urged them to consider what the Bible says, to pray about it and then vote accordingly.

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