Rep. Antonio Speaks Out Against Pastor Protection Act In House Committee
Says bill enables discrimination against LGBTQ community
February 16, 2017
 
[ Nickie J. Antonio Home | Nickie J. Antonio Press ]
 
 

Breaking with Statehouse tradition, State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) yesterday presented opponent testimony on House Bill 36 – dubbed the “Pastor Protection Act” by supporters – in the House Community and Family Advancement Committee:


“I was moved to testify because I am deeply saddened that we are having this conversation yet again, even though we know House Bill 36 is a solution in search of a problem. 


“HB 36 writes discrimination into law, and while the existence of the bill may give some a new sense of protection from societal changes, it is cold comfort for those who believe in the separation of church and state and the constitutional rights already afforded religious leaders.


“Ohio’s collective goal of attracting and retaining the best and brightest to our workforce is made more difficult when state leaders devote  time and energy drafting laws that intentionally suggest members of the LGBT community are not welcome and cannot expect to be embraced by religious leaders and congregations in our state.”


“As we all know when we pledge allegiance to the flag, we say ‘with Liberty and Justice for all’ – not for some, not with exceptions – but for all.”


Full testimony is available on the committee’s website: http://www.ohiohouse.gov/committee/community-and-family-advancement

 
 
 
  
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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.