Kathleen Ann Hogan (plaintiff) and Clifford Floyd Hogan (defendant) were married for 15 years. Kathleen sought a divorce, alleging that Clifford was mentally and physically abusive. Clifford contested the divorce. Clifford was a practicing Catholic and alleged that divorce was sinful, according to his religious beliefs, because marriage was permanent. The trial judge granted Kathleen’s petition for divorce after Kathleen successfully demonstrated that she and Clifford had lived separate and apart for a period of one year. Clifford appealed the ruling. Clifford asserted that the trial court violated his right to the free exercise of religion under Ohio’s Free Exercise Clause and, alternatively, under the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause of the United States Constitution.