Ohio's HB 286, the so-called "Pastor Protection Act," claims to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. Backers of the bill say it will allow clergy to deny solemnizing the marriage of couples if the marriage doesn’t conform to their religious convictions. After receiving testimony and being stalled for months, the bill is set to receive a vote in committee today.
We know what this is really about: insulting same-sex couples. Clergy already have the right to deny marriage to any couple, for any reason.
Clergy are protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article I of Ohio’s Constitution.
There are two ways you can help. The vote is today, so we need to take action now!
- Call all three leaders of the Community and Family Advancement Committee and let them know you do NOT support HB 286.
Example script: Hello, I am calling with regard to HB 286, which is up for vote in the Community and Family Advancement Committee. This bill doesn’t do what it claims to, because clergy can already pick and choose who they want to marry thanks to the First Amendment and Article I of Ohio’s Constitution. This is an insult to clergy, who already have constitutional guarantees of their religious freedoms, as well as the LGBTQ community, who this bill is aimed against.
Representative Timothy E. Ginter, 614-466-8022
Representative Margaret Conditt, 614-466-8550
Representative Kevin Boyce, 614-466-5343
- Join our friends at Equality Ohio and ACLU Ohio today at 4:00pm ET in room 114 of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.
Please do not bring signs. We will be letting the Committee see that they cannot act in the shadows in a lame-duck session to pass anti-LGBTQ laws.