A bill on religious freedom that was introduced last year and went nowhere is back. The so-called “Pastor Protection Act” got its first hearing Wednesday, the day after it was introduced. And now Gov. John Kasich has weighed in on it.
Kasich, who doesn’t usually comment on pending legislation, was asked about the so-called Pastor Protection Act during a speech before newspaper executives. He said if it simply guarantees a clergymember can refuse to perform a marriage, he’s ok with that. “I don’t know what it really does, so I have to see what the bill does. But I don’t think it’s going to be some sweeping Indiana or North Carolina bill is my understanding, but I’ll have to see.”
Civil rights and LGBTQ groups say the bill is unnecessary since no clergymembers have been forced to perform marriages outside their beliefs. A few similar proposals passed in other states have been rejected because of threats of boycotts by businesses.