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Ohio Pastor Protection Act (HB 36)

This law was last updated on Nov 29, 2018

This law is Anti–LGBTQ




HB 36




Feb 7, 2017


Co-sponsors: 38
Primary Sponsors: 1
Total Sponsors: 39


LGBTQ, Religious Freedom

Full Bill Text

HB 36 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—which remains undefined—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. This would allow undefined “religious societies” to deny same-sex couples, interfaith couples, and others, access to non-religious spaces that are commercially open to the public.

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.

Related Legislation

Identical to HB 286, which failed to pass in 2015.


Passed the house on June 27, 2018, by a 59-29 vote.