A step forward for anti-discrimination bill in Ohio
June 18, 2009
Yesterday, a committee in the Ohio state House of Representatives voted 8-5 in favor of the Equal Housing and Employment Act, legislation that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill now moves to the House floor, where a vote may take place as soon as next week. HRC President Joe Solmonese submitted testimony to the House committee in support of this vital legislation. This legislation is critically needed. Right now, it is perfectly legal to fire someone in Ohio simply because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. This legislation would ensure that people are judged on their merits and would provide LGBT Ohioans with the equal rights they deserve in the workplace, the housing market, and with regard to access to places of public accommodation. Lynne Bowman, executive director of Equality Ohio, has been working hard to build support for this vital legislation, and had this update:
For the past week, we have worked virtually nonstop with the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and our sponsors (state Reps Stewart and McGregor) on amendments to the bill. In the end, we agreed on language that would address all of the Chamber's concerns specific to the addition of sexual orientation and gender identity…Please note that virtually all of these amendments match what is currently in the Federal ENDA language. The good news is that the bill PASSED out of committee. And that's a step in the right direction for Ohio...We're being told that vote by the full House of Representatives will be next week, but we won't have the day until tomorrow or Friday… Thank you all for what you are doing across the state ... I know so many of you are sending emails to your members, doing action alerts, making personal phone calls, etc. What I'm being told by the representatives is that all of those things are making a difference - so don't let up! Remember to visit www.dowhatsrightohio.com to check out the written testimony submitted and news articles... The Toledo Blade endorsed yesterday and we hope for the Plain Dealer sometime soon.
May 16, 2013