COLUMBUS, Ohio (November 28) — A bill being considered in the Republican-controlled Ohio Legislature would specify that ministers don’t have to perform marriages that contradict their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
The “Ohio Pastor Protection Act ” would stipulate that an ordained or licensed minister or religious society isn’t subject to civil or criminal liability for denying their services or use of their property for such marriages.
Supporters say pastors shouldn’t be forced to contradict their religious beliefs. Gay-rights advocates and other opponents of the bill say it’s redundant to constitutional protections and could enable discrimination against same-sex couples.
The House passed the measure in June, sending it to the Senate, where it’s under consideration now.
Under the current language, the provisions would be specific to ministers and religious societies and wouldn’t apply to businesses or others.