Ohio legislative roundup: Pastor Protection Act passes House despite discrimination concerns

Columbus Dispatch

June 27, 2018

By Jim Siegel

A Pastor Protection Act that supporters say protects religious freedom — but critics call unnecessary and discriminatory against gay couples — passed the Ohio House on Wednesday.

The bill says that no licensed minister or religious society can be forced to perform or host a marriage ceremony that does not conform to their sincerely held religious beliefs while protecting them from lawsuits.

Rep. Nino Vitale, R-Urbana, said House Bill 36 is aimed at addressing the tension between the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision and the catechism of faith communities.

“Do we want Ohio to be a state that imposes something on pastors that is against their deeply held religious beliefs?” he said.

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