Ohio State Senate stalls on anti-discrimination bill

An anti-discrimination bill that passed in the Ohio House may die in the Senate because Republican State Senators oppose it.

Though the Ohio House passed the Equal Housing and Employment Act by a 56-39 vote two weeks ago, the State Senate will not pass it because Republican state senators say it’s anti-business.

A bill prohibiting employment and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity that passed the Ohio house this month may end in the Republican-controlled senate.
A bill prohibiting employment and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity that passed the Ohio House this month may die in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Lynne Bowman, executive director of Equality Ohio, the state’s advocacy organization for LGBT issues says the bill would send the message that “discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity will not be tolerated in Ohio, regardless of where a person lives, works or plays.”

But the GOP-led Senate says the bill would place undue burden on employers and could lead to a range of new affirmative action programs in Ohio.

Citizens for Community Values, a conservative organization working against the bill, has asked members to contact their state senators to pressure them into voting against the bill.

Twenty-one other states and 16 Ohio counties already have similar rules.

In a statement, Gov. Ted Strickland said the House’s passage of the bill “affirmed that Ohio is a welcoming and inclusive state. This legislation will help attract and retain the talent Ohio businesses need to foster lasting economic growth and prosperity.”

For more information, see the Cincinnati Enquirer article here.

To contact your state senator, go here.

— Theresa Bruskin

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