Religious Protection Bill Prompts Fears of Threat to Marriage Equality

Dec 8, 2015

Vitale says his bill will help all sides avoid legal action.
Credit The Ohio House of Representatives

A bill that’s meant to add safeguards for religious leaders has some lawmakers worried about the unintended consequences it could have on marriage equality. 

Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.

Republican Rep. Nino Vitale of Urbana says his bill will help all sides avoid legal action.

The proposal would ensure that religious leaders and buildings owned by religious establishments have the right to not to perform or host marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.

“If pastors feel like they need this protection, I feel like we can have equality and religious freedom and live in harmony. And I personally believe that if we don’t find a way to do that, we’re going to be in some serious situations that I don’t that we want to be in,” said Vitale.

Opponents say the Constitution already protects religious leaders and institutions. They fear the bill could open doors to discrimination.