Ohio Pastor Protection Act (HB 286)
This law was last updated on Feb 8, 2017
HB 286 would prohibit the state from requiring ordained or licensed ministers or religious societies to solemnize a marriage that does not conform to the ordained or licensed minister or religious society’s sincerely held religious beliefs.
The bill states that no religious society would be required to allow any building or property of the religious society to be used to host a marriage ceremony for a marriage that does not conform to the religious society’s sincerely held religious beliefs.
The bill would protect ordained or licensed ministers and religious societies from civil or criminal action. The state would be prohibited from penalizing or withholding benefits or privileges from ministers or religious societies, including any governmental contract, grant, or license.
The First Amendment already covers the right of religious organizations to refuse to perform marriages that conflict with their religious beliefs. This bill takes it a step further by denying the use of facilities for marriage ceremonies.