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.

 
  • The law already provides for this. I’ve done Ohio weddings since the late 1970’s. I am free to marry/not marry, as is every license holder.

  • Scott Anderson

    Good to see someone pave the way for sharia law…

  • john Johnson

    Now now. The term is Canon law. Law in accordance with church canon (teachings). Which was pretty much all European law in the middle ages. One king tried to bring members of the church under civil law and the Pope excommunicated the entire country. His terms for revoking the excommunication were that the king crawl up the hill on his hands and knees and apologize, which he did – doubtless out of fear for his family’s lives. It would be up to his successor to successful bring the church to heel, more or less.
    I’d give names but it’s been 40 years since I borrowed the book from the library and I don’t recall its name.

  • john Johnson

    The Republicans ARE overly fond of unnecessary laws. Even those Republicans running on the “smaller government” shtick. It’s only THEIR lives they want minimal government intrusion into.

  • JeffreyRO55

    I don’t really get religionists in the first place, so I’ll get that out of the way. But from what I know of the bible, where does it say if you have a business, you can’t serve gay customers?

  • Tiffany Mckinney

    How long do you think that will last though? Everything changed when they legalized gay marriage, and there is nothing wrong with them updating and making the law crystal clear, leaving no cracks to preserve religious freedom…they are a small percentage of our country with big mouths… I personally don’t care if they get married, and they deserve all of the same liberties as any other American, but there is not a thing wrong with them going the extra mile to make sure other Americans lose none of their rights in the process. If there is a crack, some of them will definantly try to fit in it.. that’s true about every type of people in the world.. That’s why they need a new law.

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