News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hennes Paynter Communications

Knight Foundation

Meaden & Moore

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us

Defenders say Ohio's religious freedom bill differs from Arizona's
But ACLU says the potential for unintended consequences is strong

Jo Ingles
Bill Patmon denies his bill would infringe on others' rights.
Courtesy of State of Ohio
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Arizona’s governor is expected to veto a bill in that state that could give businesses the right to refuse service to gay customers on religious grounds. There’s a bill addressing religious freedom that’s been introduced in the Ohio House. As Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, the sponsor of that bill says it won’t allow discrimination but civil rights advocates are not so sure.

LISTEN: Ohio's religious-freedom bill

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:10)

In the past few days, a pizza shop owner in Arizona put up a sign denying service to Republican lawmakers who passed the contentious bill in that state’s legislature. Gay rights advocates say it would allow businesses to discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation under the guise of exercising their religious beliefs.

Ohio lawmakers are also considering a religious-freedom bill.  Sponsor and Democratic State Rep. Bill Patmon says it differs from the Arizona legislation.

“Our bill and the intention of our bill is to do a reflection of the federal law that’s in place now and that governs federal actions. Clearly, we were not anticipating Arizona and people trying to say everything that looks like that is like it but it is not.

Patmon says the bill under consideration in the Ohio House is written to protect religious freedom of Ohioans.

“It will protect you if you want to exercise your faith at work, if you want to pray, if you want to wear a cross, if you want to exhibit something at your school that doesn’t interfere with government interest. We would apply the strict scrutiny test to it. It is not in our interest to ban people from wearing yamikas or any of that.”

The law of unintended consequences?
Nick Worner with the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio says, “I think it opens the exact same doors that the Arizona bill does” and is full of “unintended consequences.”

“And it’s not just Arizona either.  We’ve got Kansas and Mississippi and a number of other states that are dealing with the unintended consequences of this.

“If they had other things in mind, like religious garb, clothing and prayer, they already have the First Amendment, not to mention us, who have already defended people in situations like that and have already prevailed in court. The issue is the unintended consequences – the license to discriminate that this creates.

Ohio’s religious freedom bill is in the beginning stages of the legislative process.  It has about three-dozen co-sponsors.


Listener Comments:

I got out of the military after 7 years of service and multiple deployments. I stayed in San Diego upon release, because I don't feel welcome in my own state of Ohio. I am a lesbian and I want to come home- stop acting like ignorant, dark age bigots, so I can raise my children near my family.

Posted by: Cassandra (San Diego) on February 26, 2014 11:02AM
Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Kasich campaign evokes dark images of a Trump presidency

Backers of legalizing marijuana in Ohio promise to be back in 2016
We should be aloud to grow more than 4 plants and not have to register with the state considering it will be a free market.

Akron says it's had no second thoughts about welcoming refugees
What business does Councilman Neal own on North Hill? I'd love to support him. I am so glad to have the refugees in our neighborhood. I have lived here for 25 ...

Scarborough says the University of Akron is trying to rebuild relationships
In order for the University of Akron to grow and become a desirable place for students across Ohio and elsewhere, it must address the crime problem in the Akron...

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite wants to end pay-to-play sports fees at Ohio's schools
You can bet Hite and Husted will also rush to the rescue of the Academic Challenge team, the speech-and-debate squad, the Science Olympians and the chess club. ...

Ohio lawmakers consider new gun bills
States that have gun restrictions/cities have reduced gun violence is false. CHICAGO has some of the toughest gun laaws/restrictions but yet fun violence is off...

Cleveland's public transit system considers fare increase for 2016
I work with individuals with disabilities. Yes some of my folks need more help than the average person. As a whole, the group I work with however can manuver ju...

Community group sues to re-open part of Wadsworth hospital
My father was part of the founding group of citizens which started the "new" Wadsworth/Rittman Hospital. For some reason the leadership for the future of the ho...

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents painters who loved their gardens
brilliant masterpiece, Greetings from

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University