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Government & Politics

Ohio House Passes 'Pastor Protection' Bill Some say is Unnecessary, Others say is Discriminatory

photo of Ohio House
ANDY CHOW
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
Some opponents argue the protections are already part of the Constitution.

The House passed the hotly debated “Pastor Protection” Act Wednesday. Democratic lawmakers argued that the bill would create a way for businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

Republican Nino Vitale has pushed for the “Pastor Protection” Act since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.

His bill would allow clergy to refuse to solemnize marriages based on religious beliefs.

“They see a very clear and real reason for the protection that this bill provides,” he said.

But Democrat Janine Boyd stood against a provision, which she says allows other undefined groups to refuse public accommodations.

“Proprietors of property and services that rent to the public at-large can turn away members of the LGBTQ community,” she said.

Opponents also argue that religious leaders are already protected under the Constitution.