Ohio Pastor Protection Act passes Ohio house committee
December 2, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- State Representative Nino Vitale (R-Urbana), the author of the Ohio Pastor Protection Act, (OPPA) has announced his bill has passed committee with bi-partisan support and has been referred to a vote on the Ohio House Floor.
The OPPA will protect pastors, ministers, members of the clergy and any associated property from lawsuits. This protection will allow these individuals to exercise religious liberty and only perform ceremonies if they are in line with their deeply held religious beliefs. The bill aims to protect Ohio’s pastors and church organizations from being forced to violate their conscience.
While Ohio currently protects the personal convictions and conscientious objections of all citizens in many other areas of the revised code, some religious convictions could be vulnerable given recent Supreme Court rulings. This measure makes it part of Ohio State Law that these specific individuals need not be concerned about being sued if they are acting in line with their deeply held religious beliefs.
“This is not an issue of discrimination,” Vitale said. “It is an issue of protection; protection for those who have committed their lives to the service of God and their community.”
The OPPA, written by Rep. Vitale, has been recognized and supported by national groups including Liberty Counsel and The American Freedom Law Center.
Similar legislation in Texas has passed both chambers with overwhelming bipartisan support and has now been signed by the Governor to become law. This has also passed at least one chamber in Tennessee, Oklahoma and Alabama.