Supporters Want Vote On 'Pastor Protection' Bill

Pastor Tim Throckmorton of Crossroads Church in Circleville, Chris Long of the Ohio Christian Alliance and Rep. Nino Vitale (R-Urbana) (Karen Kasler / Statehouse Bureau)
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The sponsor of a controversial bill that aims to protect clergy who oppose same-sex marriage from lawsuits says it’s being blocked from coming to the House floor, where he’s certain it would pass. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports he’s asking backers to urge lawmakers to push it forward.

Several conservative clergymembers came to the Statehouse to support the bill, including Jonathan Newman, pastor of Koinos Christian Fellowship, a Southern Baptist congregation in Troy.

“It’s a very simple bill – very clear, very simple, very small. But it would clarify exactly what the rights are of congregations and pastors in Ohio.”

But critics says no pastors have been sued for refusing to perform ceremonies for same-sex couples, so this bill is an unnecessary waste of time.

Republican Rep. Nino Vitale of Urbana says his bill has 25 sponsors, including a Democrat, and he thinks his bill has the votes to pass it if it were allowed to come to the House floor.

But Speaker Cliff Rosenberger says it needs more conversation.

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