State Rep. Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) and State Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) this week introduced a resolution urging all state employees and officials to refrain from engaging in nonessential official state travel to North Carolina. The resolution comes in response to the passage of the controversial bathroom access law in North Carolina that critics, and now the U.S. Department of Justice, say allows discrimination against LGBT individuals.

“This resolution sends a strong message that Buckeyes stand for fairness and equality and against irrational prescriptions for fear and intolerance,” said Boggs. “I believe all people have a fundamental and inherent right to be themselves without government intrusion and unfair barriers in everyday life.”

In March, the North Carolina state legislature passed legislation to ban transgender individuals from using the bathrooms appropriate for their gender. The bathroom ban law also prohibits cities and other political subdivisions in North Carolina from passing anti-discrimination ordinances that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. 

“Instead of treating people fairly and equally, far-right activists are hijacking state laws to foster an environment of exclusion and rejection,” Antonio said. “Our nation was built on a belief in equal opportunity, not a foundation of fear and division that makes it harder for some Americans to find meaningful work and sustain a family.”

The House Resolution proposes that the “policies of the State of Ohio should align with the state’s values of inclusiveness and equality for all,” and it urges states employees to avoid traveling to the Tarheel state until the bathroom ban law is repealed or amended to allow towns and cities to enact local nondiscrimination laws that protect equality for LGBT individuals.

If passed, Ohio would join at least four states and numerous cities, including Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton that have already taken the initiative to introduce similar travel bans. The backlash from the private sector has been real too. North Carolina is already experiencing the detrimental economic impact of the new law with major entertainers cancelling events and prominent businesses ending plans to create jobs and expand.

This week, the United States Department of Justice informed North Carolina officials that The Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act and Title IX. If the finding is upheld, the state could lose hundreds of millions in federal education funding and face federal lawsuits.

An Ohio Republican legislator has promised to file a bill similar to North Carolina’s new law.

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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.