Lawmakers Push Bills Guaranteeing Equal Opportunity In The Buckeye State
Say Ohio can be beacon of equality, opportunity and freedom

Democratic state lawmakers today called for the state legislature to consider three bills they say will guarantee equal opportunity for gay, lesbian and transgender Ohioans. The renewed push for consideration comes in the wake of the tragic Orlando massacre that targeted the LGBT community and in advance of the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to guarantee marriage equality in America.

“Our state and our country have taken great strides toward true equality over the past several years, but there is still much work to do to ensure LGBTQ members of our community have an equal opportunity to work, have a safe place to call their home and – most importantly – be who they are without fear of intimidation, coercion or violence,” said Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood). “Ohio has an opportunity to create a more inclusive society that promotes freedom and opportunity for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”  

The lawmakers called on majority Republicans to allow full consideration for three bills:

-House Bill 389 – Reps. Antonio, Driehaus – Also known as the Ohio Fairness Act, to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations. 

-House Bill 247 – Reps. Driehaus, Phillips – Ban on conversion therapy on minors.

-House Bill 569 – Rep. Antonio – To include sexual orientation and gender identity under “biased-motivated crime.”

“Ohioans know our state is a great place to live, work, and raise a family – and that should be true for all families, gay and straight alike,” said Rep. Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati). “No Ohioan should fear losing their job or being kicked out of their home just because of who they are or who they love. As national headlines have taken a darker tenor recently, we have an opportunity to be a beacon of equality, opportunity and freedom in Ohio.”

The lawmakers also announced that they will be hosting regional public forums during the summer months to raise awareness on the three bills and other important LGBTQ issues.

Whether it’s discrimination in housing and employment, lack of legal protection against hate crimes, or falsely portraying sexual orientation and gender identity as a mental illness, members of the LGBTQ community face many challenges to which we as legislators can and should respond,” Rep. Debbie Phillips (D-Albany). “Getting out in the community to engage on these important issues will allow us to hear directly from LGBTQ Ohioans on how we can make our state a more inclusive and welcoming place.”  

Featured Posts

Ohio AG Needs To Open Independent Harassment Investigation Of Bill Seitz, Lawmakers Say


State Reps. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) today asked* Ohio Attorney General (AG) Mike DeWine to hire an objective third party to reopen the harassment investigation of Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati). The letter comes after it was reported that Taft Stettinius & Hollister, the law firm which conducted the investigation, donated to Seitz’ campaign and had employed Seitz for 36 years. The investigation concluded that the allegations of inappropriate conduct made against Seitz by a female House employee did not constitute sexual harassment according to the House’s anti-harassment policy and said the complaint may have been politically motivated. The basis of the findings, however, directly conflict with the AG’s anti-sexual harassment training given to state lawmakers and staff prior to the event.


Ohio Republican Majority Writes Discrimination Into Law


State Reps. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) today expressed disappointment with the passage of House Bill (HB) 36, which writes discrimination into Ohio law by allowing ministers not to solemnize marriages that are contrary to their personal beliefs.


Antonio, Burke Ask Kasich To Keep Local Behavioral Health Youth Program Running


State Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) and state Senator Dave Burke (R-Marysville) today wrote a letter* to Gov. John Kasich asking him to reconsider his administration’s move to shutter Cuyahoga County’s local Positive Education Program (PEP) Connections, a behavioral health program that serves some 500 high-risk youth each day.


Antonio Responds To Latest Ohio Opioid Crisis Report


The lead Democrat on the Ohio House’s Health Committee, Democratic Whip and state Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood), today responded to the latest dire report on Ohio’s statewide opioid overdose and addiction emergency.

The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences released the report “Taking Measure of Ohio’s Opioid Crisis” Tuesday, highlighting the grim realities many in the state are experiencing, but also making a case for greater treatment access and expanded educational and economic opportunities for Ohioans.

“This report confirms that treatment is necessary to stem the tide of this opioid crisis, and clearly we do not have enough treatment options currently available,” said Antonio. “We can do better. We must do better. Taxpayers deserve better economic opportunities, a strong and affordable educational foundation, and greater access to healthcare services – all things that we know will prevent opioid addiction and abuse.”

The report points to low education levels and limited job opportunities as central underlying causes of opioid abuse.