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Lawmakers Weigh In on Impact of Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Rain barrels and gauges around the state are nearly overflowing after these last few weeks – and the state’s rainy day fund is also full. The state’s savings account is now at a record high of a little over $2 billion, thanks to the new state budget.

The weeks after the budget is signed is usually slow around the Statehouse. and Gov. John Kasich’s presidential campaign launch is set for July 21. So there's not much happening on Capitol Square, which is giving  pundits, politicians, activists and advocates time to absorb and analyze the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which made it clear that states must recognize same-sex unions in the same way that opposite-sex unions are. Though the ruling said clergy members who are opposed to performing same-sex weddings are protected by the First Amendment, elected officials in several states are concerned - including some in Ohio. Rep. Nino Vitale (R-Urbana) has proposed the Pastor Protection Act, which he says will allow pastors, ministers and members of the clergy to exercise religious liberty and only perform ceremonies if they are in line with their deeply held religious beliefs. But the state's first openly gay state lawmaker is concerned. Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) says the measure isn't needed.