Ohio Lawmaker Seeks to Force Vote on Pastor Protection Act

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A state lawmaker has made a procedural move that could force a vote during this fall’s lame duck session on a proposal to allow Ohio churches and pastors to refuse to perform same-sex marriages.

The Columbus Dispatch reports state Rep. Paul Zeltwanger pulled a discharge petition on the last day of session before summer break. It is intended to force the so-called Pastor Protection Act out of committee and onto the chamber floor.

Fifty House members need to sign the document for it to be successful, a goal that’s rarely met.

The bill says no clergy could be required to solemnize a marriage or have their church property used to host a ceremony that’s against their religious beliefs.

Opponents say state and U.S. constitutions already protect religious freedom.