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.

Meaden & Moore

Hospice of the Western Reserve

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

Sponsor Patmon pulls his Ohio "religious freedom" bill
Critics said it would have legalized discrimination against gay people

Jo Ingles
Patmon says he may be back with a new version of his religious freedom bill.
Courtesy of State of Ohio
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

A so-called “religious freedom” bill in the Ohio Legislature is being pulled. The bill -- similar to one recently passed in Arizona -- has been widely criticized as allowing discrimination against LGBT people. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports on why the Ohio Legislation is dead for now.

LISTEN: Patmon says the religous freedom bill has been misinterpreted

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:39)

One sponsor of the religious freedom bill considered in the Ohio legislature, Democratic Rep. Bill Patmon, says the plan is dead.

“The bill is being pulled off the legislative agenda by my request.  There is too much misunderstanding and misinterpretation in this particular case. And when you find that, then you have to maybe go back to the drawing board because we are not Arizona nor were we ever intended to be or to have a bill that is reflective of what they are doing.”

Patmon says he was pushing the bill because he wanted to make sure there were protections for people who wear a crosses, a yarmulke or some other religious symbol in their workplaces. But critics of this bill said it could open the door to widespread discrimination of gay Ohioans. Patmon says the language in this bill was not clear enough.

“There are different interpretations of it. That’s a concern for me. I don’t want different interpretations whether it is the ACLU or someone else. There should be only one. And that is to make sure people have religious freedom.”

Unintentional consequences become clear
Patmon’s co-sponsor on this legislation, Republican Tim Derickson, is also willing to pull the bill.  Spencer Gross is Derickson’s legislative aide. 

“Through the legislative process it kind of became clear that there were some unintentional consequences that could result from the bill’s implementation. We wanted this to be something that would protect Ohioans of all faiths and their religious liberties and it wasn’t our intent to make this a discrimination bill.”

The sponsors say they would like to pursue a religious freedom bill in the future, but for now, the legislation is dead.

That’s welcome news as far as Ian James is concerned.  James, a leader with the gay rights group FreedomOhio, says the language in the Ohio bill was very close to the language in the Arizona legislation. 

James says he thinks sponsors of this bill didn’t realize it could have unintended consequences. And he doesn’t want to see a new version, and says Ohio should not either.

“Companies will come out to strong opposition to this, I’m sure, because they see this is not the way for Ohio to go forward. It’s a bad bill. It’s dangerous.”

For his part, Rep. Patmon, a member of the Legislative Black Caucus, says he will not support any legislation that would discriminate.

“Given who I am, there’s no way I could be in favor of discrimination.”


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

New options in Ohio for secular wedding ceremonies
Hello Mike, I support this action. I was not previously aware of the difficulty couples may encounter in locating officials to serve in their non-religious mar...

Northeast Ohio prepares for the next refugees -- whoever they may be
What a better place to place refugees than in the Midwest cities that have a steady population decline. These refugees will bring much to the culture and the ec...

Charter reform bill includes controversial change for some teachers
I work for a former White Hat charter school; it was sold to another (for-profit) company this past summer and we were told that they would not pay into STRS/PE...

Bhutanese resettlement has had a big economic impact
Informative especially for nonmembers of North Hill. I appreciate the fact that you mention that the younger generation has an easier time than the elders but t...

Ottawa County Commissioner sworn in as new house member
Congratulations on your new appointment to the Ohio House. I'm certain you will do an outstanding job in your new role representing our district. When you have...

Holden Arboretum opens a new canopy walk and emergent tower
Visited the Holden Arboretum today to witness the incredible work you did constructing the tower and bridges.WOW! Very impressed. Knew the build had to be great...

Local club works to bring back the once-prevalent American elm
I would love to help! Where would I get some of the new Strain so I could plant them?

Four Geauga school districts consider consolidating on the Kent State campus
Berkshire was smart to merge with Ledgemont because it had shrinking enrollment and excess capacity at its high school. Now that Cardinal is dragging its feet ...

Ohio Rep. John Boccieri sworn into office and hopes to look for 'middle ground' with colleagues
Welcome back to the Statehouse, John. You are a terrific representative in the truest sense always representing the people's voice in teh district you serve. ...

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