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Ohio ‘religious freedom’ bill on hold over concerns of anti-gay discrimination

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A “religious freedom” bill has been put on hold in the Ohio House of Representatives because of concerns that it’s nearly identical to legislation in Arizona that critics say would allow business owners to shun LGBT customers and anyone else they don’t like.

Ohio House photoOhio lawmakers Rep. Tim Derickso (front), and Rep. Bill Patmon (left) introduced their “religious freedom” bill in December.

Ohio House photo
Ohio lawmakers Rep. Tim Derickso (front), and Rep. Bill Patmon (left) introduced their “religious freedom” bill in December.

State Rep. Bill Patmon, a Cleveland Democrat who is a co-sponsor of the proposed Religious Freedom Restoration Act (House Bill 376) told Outlook Columbus on Wednesday that “you won’t see any more hearings or anything” until the bill is rewritten to eliminate any potential for discrimination in public accommodations.

“I’m 6-foot-five-and-a-half, I’m black and bald-headed,” Patmon said. “Can you imagine what I think about discrimination?”

Patmon said he has set up a meeting with the ACLU and will reach out to discuss the bill with the LGBT community as well. He said its purpose was to ensure people’s right to wear a cross or a yarmulke while at their jobs without state or local governments saying they can’t.

Supporters say the legislation is modeled after a 1993 federal law that courts say applies only to the federal government.

“That was never the intention of the bill,” he said of concerns about potential discrimination. “When the questions in Arizona came up, I said, ‘Let’s slow down here. Let’s make sure we’re not setting up a discriminatory process.’”

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Entire sections of the Ohio bill, sponsored by 45 representatives, are identical to controversial Arizona legislation. Just like the Arizona legislation, which awaits the signature or veto of Gov. Jan Brewer, the Ohio bill would curtail the state’s power to take any action – such as enforcing anti-discrimination laws – that affects someone’s exercise of religion.

Both laws define “state action” and “exercise of religion” the same way, and both require the state to pay attorney fees and other costs of people who use their religion as a defense in court.

Supporters of the Ohio measure include the Catholic Conference of Ohio, the Ohio Council of Churches, and Citizens for Community Values.

A similar bill was introduced Monday in Missouri.


© Outlook Media. Ohio's statewide LGBT news source.
An LGBTQ Nation media partner.
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91 more reader comments:

  1. Go ask ALEC. Sounds like something that would come from them.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:20pm
  2. ya think??

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:21pm
  3. Well, duh.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:21pm
  4. Such hateful and hurtful discrimination. What’s next? Separate water fountains?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:23pm
  5. I hope so. I'd HATE to catch "the hetero." Ick :)

    Replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:24pm
  6. Jerkoffs…

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:24pm
  7. Der…. help, help, I’m being oppressed. My religious freedom to hate and judge is being attacked.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:24pm
  8. we must do help

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 4:13am
  9. Ugh. Discrimination should NEVER be protected, in any form.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:25pm
  10. we must o

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 4:13am
  11. Tea Party asshats losing their minds …

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:25pm
  12. Fuck religious freedom. Human Rights!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:26pm
  13. On hold over the very purpose of the bill.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:26pm
  14. Good! Someone in OH is paying close attention. Keep the heat turned up on the bigots, and maybe they will be deterred …even if temporarily.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:26pm
  15. Tools….

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:27pm
  16. LOL on hold…

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:28pm
  17. Dems should not even be a part of this bill!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:29pm
  18. Ron, here’s another one for you

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:29pm
  19. Thanks

    Replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:30pm
  20. People are stupid

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:29pm
  21. Idiots

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:30pm
  22. Did anyone actually read the article, or is our community just as quick to judge without information as those we’d position ourselves against.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:31pm
  23. everystate b gonna go over.this hiv serious disease gays transmit it how do we deal with that

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:31pm
  24. What?

    Replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:38pm
  25. the only disease that is being transmitted by people is the disease of christianity.

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:40am
  26. Can you try again in english

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:40am
  27. I only no japanese chinese. Only know what is posted on internet about hiv...hope u don't have it but its. Transmitted not by christianity. But sex ....or blood. And how did christianity get in this conversation...is that what the antigay bill about. Well if that's the case. The bible has. Own words about gay llesbian..its in black. White read all over..your gay your going to hell...is what christian aspect bout being. Gay. Lesbian...but I. Can c gay lesbian people being deadly threat if they have hiv..and don't take proper measures to not transmitt it...but. being gay lesbian that's your choice..

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 1:23am
  28. Being gay or lesbian is not a choice, but choosing to address an issue in a public forum when you have no idea what you are talking about....now that clearly is a choice.

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 1:26am
  29. Gay is being a choice like being married single or drinking a. Beer. Or maybe I'm. Right being gay mentally unstable excuse for being put on earth but retarded people r mentally retarded not much you can do for them r gay lesbian people mentally retarded..I. don't. Think so...its. clearly your choice to be gay to. Me. And rest of the world.think its a trans identity disorder.I've heard all the excuses in the world. I chose to be married have been separated my wife. Choose to be living with lesbian and. Most. Think she lesbian too. So I'm married to a lesbian anything else that you can say. Comment on how that get married. Wife turns out being lesbian and we still married that's. By choice

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:02am
  30. But. Explain. How is it not a. Choice to be gay ...how do you get a partner. Do you choose a partner or gays lesbian have desinated partners...explain how you. Get a partner without making a choice?????

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:05am
  31. blame us for hiv explain why strait people have it as well as druggies even babies have from birth . so stop being stupid

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:42am
  32. In the 80s. Hiv got started in france in bath houses and brought to america and many don't tell their sex partner they get pregnant child born hiv or dope heads heroin users sharing needles you that ignorant bout. Hiv its sexually or blood transmitted disease only and gay population have ones that been found hiv positive...but I'm wanting u explain how. Gay lesbian isnot a choice....gay strait single r my choices r u. Ignorant mentally unstable tomake a choice. Met many gay lesbian people .in my life they claim was what they chose y u different

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:56am
  33. The USA has officially gone FULL RETARD.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:32pm
  34. Groan….. You get religious freedom from the first amendment, call it what it is. The right to be a bigot and I might take you seriously.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:34pm
  35. Don’t Do It !

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:38pm
  36. So, they want to hurt the economy, by saying it’s “gods will” they must be a special kinda stupid.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:38pm
  37. OMG…..

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:38pm
  38. Don’t you dare, Ohio!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:39pm
  39. I actually read the article. They get a thumbs up for putting it on hold.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:42pm
  40. I'm glad they put it on hold, what bothers me is how that same language made it that far before anyone noticed.

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:33am
  41. This bill is a two way street. Discrimination can go both ways.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:45pm
  42. they never give up, do they? We need the REAL Christians and churches to start speaking out and condemning these definitely un-Christ-like bigots.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:47pm
  43. So ashamed of lawmakers here

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:49pm
  44. What’s going with all these states? All these haters

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 11:51pm
  45. Ok it’s time to start the gay agenda! Code word ” Glitter “

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:02am
  46. I thought it was against the first amendment… Have to have a separation of religion and state?? O.o

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:05am
  47. Crappy bill!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:12am
  48. In other words, they want to see just how bad the fallout on AZ will be before they jump on the hate wagon themselves.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:15am
  49. “Hey! WTF! This sorta’ crap is working out real well in Arizona”, said one of the backers of the Ohio bill.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:20am
  50. You do not attain religious freedom by denying rights to others! These so-called christians need a swift kick to the butt! That is not what christianity is about! Stop hiding your homophobia behind the veil of Christianity. It’s offensive to true Christians! PS: Is that RuPaul standing behing the governor? lol

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:30am
  51. Wayne Owen HIV not only came from gays nor created by gays u fuck tard.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:49am
  52. They should scrap the bill altogether, not sit on their beloved asses and wait.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:51am
  53. Here’s a list of things that don’t count as a vicious attack or discrimination.
    ° Other people doing something that is against your religion.
    ° Other people doing something that you don’t like.
    ° Someone calling you a bigot, when you are acting like a bigot.
    ° Someone disagreeing with your opinion.
    ° Other people refusing to let you hurt them (physically, mentally or emotionally).
    ° Other people being granted the same rights that you have.
    ··· Randa Morris

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:52am
  54. Again fuck all you guys

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:54am
  55. What concerns? Of course it’s anti-gay discrimination. With this bill a doctor could refuse to save a patients life because the patient doesn’t love the same way he does and his religion says he should let his patient die.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 1:12am
  56. Barbara Coppins. Great thinking!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 1:25am
  57. If your religion needs a law so that you can openly and legally discriminate, you’re doing it wrong.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 1:48am
  58. We don’t want that shit here!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 1:50am
  59. I am a christian, i dont agree with the lgbt lifestyle but I dont hate anybody, and i dont wish them any bad, its just not for me. I have lgbt friends, but we dont discuss the intimate details of our private lives because we mind our own business

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 1:53am
  60. Bullshit. Fuck Christianity and the Tea Party, and most of all, fuck you.

    Replied on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 10:35am
  61. Holy shit first Kansas then Arizona now Ohio. Talk about blind leading the blind.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:02am
  62. I guess the cowards think if they do it at the same time it makes it okay, what a bunch of jerks

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:03am
  63. Ohio will never get away with this.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:04am
  64. They better put that on hold, indefinitely .

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:22am
  65. what about our civil rights you mean to say that the seperation of church and state , and one’s religion is more important than one’s civil rights are we still in america

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:33am
  66. I wanna move

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:43am
  67. What the fuck?! The religious freedom bill is the constitution! It will never give religious people the right to be bigots no matter what you try to do

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:50am
  68. Wayne Owen. When did you choose to be straight?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:51am
  69. Wayne…when did you choose to be heterosexual? When did you choose to be attracted to women?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 3:02am
  70. Wayne…HIV/AIDS started in Africa and was contracted from animals (not sexually). Do your research before you comment…otherwise you and your arguments lose credibility.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 3:05am
  71. Wayne, you should lead by example. Why don’t you change your sexual orientation and become attracted to men, just to show us how EASY it is to change who you’re attracted to?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 3:06am
  72. Funny thing is im a tea party member and i agree this country is divided. Why are we so hung up on sexual orientation, it seems like both sides are arguing over an issue that is just a speck in the realm of what defines who a person is. Until we rise up as we the people instead of we the separate clicks this country is screwed. These agendas are nothing more than distractions the czars hide behind to sweep corruption under the rug

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 3:28am
  73. It’s like they think it’s still okay to hate gay people!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 4:16am
  74. Dont be stupid america freedom to all humans!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 4:31am
  75. We already have a religious freedom bill – its called the constitution = one too many.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 4:41am
  76. The number of states headed for financial ruin just keeps on growing.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 4:43am
  77. ‘Concerns’ that’s waht the politically correct call hateful bigotery.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 4:54am
  78. they want to put a hold on this bill over concerns of anti gay discrimination? they already knew what was in that bill to begin with, why put a hold on it now? these people need to be voted out of office for being dumb asses.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 5:10am
  79. oh my my

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 5:53am
  80. If they try to bring that shit here, I will fight it every step of the way. By damn if this state will be another Jim Crow waiting to happen.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:06am
  81. They all seem a little light in the loafers themselves if you ask me. :’)

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 7:22am
  82. Thought so. More dirty Koch brothers garbage.

    ALEC needs to go DOWN.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 8:21am
  83. Separation of church and state. Does that have any meaning to anyone and if it does, do you really understand what it means? These states in blue don’t seem to get it. I wish someone would explain it to them.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 9:03am
  84. DDDDDDAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 9:07am
  85. While I’m not a resident of the USA, I’m stunned at how much would be conservatives are impinging on the bill of rights

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 9:19am
  86. I’m ashamed to live there.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 10:34am
  87. SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT RELIGION. NOBODY GIVES A FUCK!!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 11:40am
  88. “on hold” ????? why not just remove it and deny you ever started this so badly ??? I’m glad they are reconsidering and rewriting for just religious freedom and NOT discrimnination!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:01pm
  89. Gee, our Ohio legislators don’t want to appear as dumb as AZ? VOTE these assholes OUT! Take your stupid religion to church and keep it there.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:12pm
  90. Calling all Republicans: move to Ohio…so we know how to keep away from you…

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 2:30pm
  91. When will they learn that these bills are for promoting discrimination, not about religious rights.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 3:03pm