House Bill 286 UPDATE
The 13st Ohio General Assembly ended deliberations in a lame duck session and closed the book tonight in a marathon meeting. The senate ended around 3:00 a.m. while the house gavel closed the 131st General Assembly at 3:30 a.m. The “Ohio Pastor Protection Act” (HB 286) did not make it to the floor of the house, but we are hopeful it will be introduced early next year in the 132nd General Assembly.
The “Ohio Pastor Protection Act” (HB 286) endured six hearings in the Committee for Family and Community Advancement. Ultimately the proponent/opponent testimony ceased with testimony by its sponsor, Representative A. Nino Vitale (R-Urbana). The bill passed by a vote of 9-4 on November 29 and has been submitted to the house floor with a recommendation to pass.
This bill would simply reaffirm the Constitutional right of pastors, churches and religious societies to perform marriages and the use of their properties for only those couples who meet the firmly held religious beliefs. This bill expands the rights of pastors and congregations to be free from criminal and civil lawsuits for those firmly held religious beliefs.
Please pray that this bill will make it to the floor promptly and will pass quickly. Awake America Ohio will make every effort to keep you informed of any progress of this legislation.