Lawmakers Abandon Plans For "Religious Freedom" Bill In Ohio
A religious freedom bill that would have allowed business owners, citing strong religious beliefs, to refuse services to homosexuals caused an outcry and was vetoed Wednesday in Arizona.
Wednesday, lawmakers in Ohio also took a similar bill off the table.
"Never in our wildest dreams did we want to set up a discriminatory situation here in the state of Ohio," said Rep. Bill Patmon.
Patmon co-sponsored the Religious Freedom Act. He said it had one purpose.
"To protect people who want to exhibit their religion without interfering with the workplace rules," said Patmon. "This bill's language was a bit too loose, it could have been interpreted any kind of way."
Ian James, the executive director of Freedom Ohio, said he's happy with the outcome.
"When you get to decide what laws you're going to follow and what you aren't, that's anarchy, that's a problem," said James.
James said this sort of law would keep Columbus from getting big events like a political convention or the Olympics.
"That bill is a killer for businesses, it's a killer for states," said James.
Patmon said the bill may be dead, but the idea isn't. He still wants to protect people from being punished for their beliefs.
"That is what we intended to do and I intend to pursue that and I have not backed away from that," said Patmon.