An Ohio lawmaker has proposed a bill that would protect clergy opposed to marriage equality from marrying gay and lesbian couples.

State Rep. Nino Vitale's Pastor Protection Act would ensure that clergy can't be forced into performing ceremonies they're opposed to based on their faith.

While Vitale told Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler that his bill “doesn't deal with homosexuality specifically,” the Rev. Tim Throckmorton, pastor at Crossroads Church in Circleville and a board member of Citizens for Community Values (CCV), the conservative group that put Ohio's gay marriage ban on the 2004 ballot, said he worries about being sued for turning away gay couples who wish to wed.

“If they would take that the wrong way, get offended, perhaps they could issue a lawsuit or a lawsuit could come toward our church or toward me, and then as it works its way up the court – quite honestly I'm concerned because I don't feel the court made a good decision here,” he said, a reference to the Supreme Court ruling that struck down state bans limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.

The Rev. Tim Ahrens, the pastor at First Congregation Church, United Church of Christ in downtown Columbus, called the legislation unnecessary.

“There will be no lawsuit,” said Ahrens, a marriage equality supporter. “Someone who is gay will not go to a pastor who does not want to marry them. That's just crazy.”