Prizm News / July 23, 2018 / By Bob Vitale

The Rev. Virginia Lohmann Bauman

‘There is not a church anywhere that is forced to marry a gay couple.’


By Bob Vitale

Before she was ordained as a Christian minister, Virginia Lohmann Bauman worked for 11 years as a trial lawyer.

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You can tell by the way she refutes religious-based arguments against the proposed Ohio Fairness Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to state nondiscrimination laws.

In a 3 1/2-minute video posted Monday by Equality Ohio, the senior pastor at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Columbus calmly explains why others in her current profession are mistaken when they argue that the bill introduced by state Rep. Nickie Antonio of Lakewood would force churches to host same-sex weddings and other such nonsense.

It’s part of a new series by the statewide LGBTQ advocacy group called “Faith Speech: Voices of Inclusion in Ohio Churches.”

“We are very fortunate that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1 of the Ohio Constitution already provide the freedoms that we need as faith leaders to practice our faith unfettered and unrestrained,” she says.

Watch the Rev. Lohmann Bauman’s full talk here:

Faith Speech: Voices of LGBTQ Inclusion

Rev. Virginia Lohmann Bauman (J.D., M.Div.) explains why she supports HB160, The Ohio Fairness Act, which would add LGBTQ people to the laws that make discrimination illegal in Ohio.

Posted by Equality Ohio on Monday, July 23, 2018

Here are some of the other highlights to commit to memory when you find yourself in a dinner-table debate:

• “There is not a church anywhere that is forced to marry a gay couple. … Churches have autonomy in those kinds of decisions.”

• “Nowhere in our state Constitution or our federal Constitution are we allowed to impose our beliefs on other people.”

• “What’s happening here with restrictions and discrimination that’s occurring on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation, etc., is a misunderstanding of our constitutional protections, a misunderstanding of the scope of the practice of faith, and it’s fundamentally a misunderstanding of who we are as people of God and as Ohioans.”


Bob Vitale
A Toledo native and graduate of Toledo Public Schools, Bob has worked as a local government and politics reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, as a Washington correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and as editor-in-chief for Outlook Ohio. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from Ball State University and a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.