You may remember State Rep. Ron Maag from such extreme, right-wing legislative efforts as SB5 in 2011 (supporter), the anti-union 2013 bill aimed at killing public sector unions (sponsor), the 2014 third-grade reading guarantee (supporter), the “heartbeat bill” (supporter) and the 2013 bill to put so-called right-to-work on the ballot (sponsor). And let’s not forget the anti-Obamacare bill and the anti-Planned Parenthood stuff.

Yesterday Maag hit a new, all-time low.

In a letter sent to other legislators, Maag revealed that he plans to introduce a bill to allow “any individual who is licensed to legally sanctify a marriage in the state of Ohio” to legally discriminate against any couple seeking to be married in our state.

“Seeing that a particular marriage may not conform to the religious beliefs of the licensed individual who would perform the marriage,” writes Magg, “the licensed individual’s rights to their religious freedom should be lawfully protected.”

Ohio’s existing law allows anyone registered with the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office as a “minister” to sanctify a marriage, along with mayors and municipal and probate judges. But a constitutional amendment from 2004 also forbids Ohio from recognizing marriages not specifically between “one man and one woman”.

A pending federal case over same-sex marriage restrictions in Ohio is likely to force an unwelcome change for extreme social conservatives like Maag. And clearly Maag, with this bill, is taking a page from Indiana’s controversial and universally-reviled religious freedom laws so he can put on a show of for his homophobic supporters.

Maag’s bill could also legalize plenty of other forms of discrimination.

In 2000, for example, a so-called pastor “deep in the woods of Pike County” Ohio refused to marry a black U.S. Army veteran and his fiance because he claimed “the Bible prohibits mixed-race marriages.”

Another pastor rightfully called Rev. Donald Ellis’s biblical interpretation “ridiculous.”  But that would hardly matter if Ohio adopted Maag’s bill, which would explicitly shield and encourage racist, homophobic and other discriminatory actions under the vaguely-defined protective umbrella of “religious freedom.”

Amen?

Here’s a copy of Maag’s letter:

To: All House Members
From: Representative Ron Maag
Date: April 8, 2015
Re: Co-Sponsor Request: Discretion to Marriage Licensed Individuals

I will soon be introducing legislation that would give discretion to any individual who is licensed to legally sanctify a marriage in the state of Ohio.

The intention of this bill is to preserve every person’s freedoms while still being respectful and cognizant of each individual’s equality. Seeing that a particular marriage may not conform to the religious beliefs of the licensed individual who would perform the marriage, the licensed individual’s rights to their religious freedom should be lawfully protected.

If you have any questions, or wish to co-sponsor this legislation, please contact …. The deadline for co-sponsoring is Friday, April 17, 2015.

Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

particular marriage may not conform to the religious beliefs of the licensed individual

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=96577

To: All House Members
From: Representative Ron Maag
Date: April 8, 2015
Re: Co-Sponsor Request: Discretion to Marriage Licensed Individuals

I will soon be introducing legislation that would give discretion to any individual who is licensed to legally sanctify a marriage in the state of Ohio.

The intention of this bill is to preserve every person’s freedoms while still being respectful and cognizant of each individual’s equality. Seeing that a particular marriage may not conform to the religious beliefs of the licensed individual who would perform the marriage, the licensed individual’s rights to their religious freedom should be lawfully protected.

If you have any questions, or wish to co-sponsor this legislation, please contact Mariah Halleck in my office at (614) 644-6023, or Mariah.Halleck@ohiohouse.gov. The deadline for co-
sponsoring is Friday, April 17, 2015.

Thank you for your consideration.

 

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