Rep. Antonio Applauds President Obama's LGBT Job Discrimination Ban
Urges Ohio legislature's consideration of Equal Housing & Employment Act to extend same protections

State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) today applauded the President’s signing of an executive order to ban workplace discrimination against LGBT employees of federal contractors and the federal government. The provision adds the categories “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to an existing executive order that protects federal employees from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

"I applaud the President’s bold move, as everyone should have the right to be gainfully employed and to pursue a career and provide for their family without the fear of discrimination and hostility in the workplace,” said Rep. Antonio. “Equity and fairness are core values of our country and these values should apply to all her citizens – including members of the LGBT community. I urge my colleagues in the legislature to consider extending the same protections to LGBT Ohioans by passing House Bill 163."

Last May, Reps. Antonio and Ross McGregor (R-Springfield) introduced the Equal Housing and Employment Act in an effort to expand the civil rights of the LGBT community. The legislation would add the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to Ohio’s anti-discrimination law, taking the President’s executive order a step further by prohibiting discrimination not only in the workplace, but in the areas of housing and public establishments as well.

In Ohio and 31 other states it is still legal to fire or harass an LGBT employee.  Following the bill’s introduction last year, Reps. Antonio and Armond Budish (D-Beachwood) sent a letter to Speaker Batchelder urging swift action on the legislation. To date, the bill has only had one introductory hearing in the GOP-controlled legislature.

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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.