COLUMBUS – State Rep. Nino Vitale (R-Urbana), the author of the Ohio Pastor Protection Act (OPPA), announced his bill 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 when they decide to only perform ceremonies in line with their religious beliefs.
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, a news release states.
“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 Vitale, has been supported by national groups, including Liberty Counsel and The American Freedom Law Center.
Similar legislation in Texas passed both chambers with overwhelming bipartisan support and was signed by the governor to become law. This has also passed at least one chamber in Tennessee, Oklahoma and Alabama.
Submitted by the staff of state Rep. Nino Vitale (R-Urbana).