State Rep. David J. Leland (D-Columbus) today announced he is introducing legislation pushing Ohio lawmakers to officially denounce white nationalists and neo-Nazis and recognize white supremacist groups as terrorist organizations in Ohio.

“We have a responsibility as keepers of the public trust to stand against violent hate, bigotry and racism in our society and to fight back against domestic terrorism that seeks to threaten our very way of life as Americans,” said Leland. “It’s on us as elected officials to ensure tyranny and oppression have no place in a free and democratic society.”

Under the resolution, law enforcement in Ohio would be directed to recognize white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups as domestic terrorist organizations, pursuing the group’s activities and whereabouts with similar resources and attention that are devoted to other homegrown terrorist groups.

“I am hopeful we will have the full support of the Ohio legislature so we can send a strong message throughout our nation and the world that Ohioans will stand up to neo-Nazis and white supremacists – hate and terror have no safe haven in Ohio,” Leland added.

Illinois recently passed similar legislation.

“While free speech is a bedrock value for Americans, white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups promote agendas that are in irreconcilable conflict with our nation’s foundational principles of liberty and justice for all,” the resolution reads in part.

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