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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