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Government & Politics

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

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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.