HRC Celebrates Victory of Pro-Equality Champions in Ohio Primary

by Ianthe Metzger

Columbus, OH -- Tonight, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, released the following statement celebrating the victories of pro-equality candidates Senator Sherrod Brown, U.S. Representatives Joyce Beatty, Marcy Kaptur, and Tim Ryan, Steve Dettelbach and State Rep. Nickie Antonio in the Ohio Primary Elections.

“HRC was proud to work on behalf of pro-equality candidates in these crucial races up and down the ballot, and will continue to mobilize our hundreds of thousands of members and supporters in Ohio to turn out for equality in the general election,” said HRC Ohio State Manager Shawn Copeland. “The choice for fair-minded Ohioans couldn’t be clearer this November. We can either support pro-equality champions like Senator Sherrod Brown, who have spent their careers fighting to ensure that every Ohioan can live a life free from discrimination and harassment, or side with anti-equality candidates like Rep. Jim Renacci who, time and time again, have worked to undermine equality for the LGBTQ community.”

In the U.S. Senate race, HRC has endorsed incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown, who will be facing Rep. Jim Renacci (R) in the general election. Brown is one of the LGBTQ community’s staunchest allies in the Senate. He voted to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2010 and for passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009. Brown has also been a consistent ally for marriage equality and is a co-sponsor of the Equality Act, crucial federal legislation that would finally guarantee explicit, permanent protections for LGBTQ people under our nation's existing civil rights laws. Jim Renacci is a long time opponent of LGBTQ equality whose record includes opposing marriage equality, supporting a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people, and a lack of support for the Equality Act.

HRC-endorsed Steve Dettelbach will face Dave Yost in the race for Ohio Attorney General. Dettelbach fought for the civil rights of all Americans as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, where he created a dedicated Civil Rights Unit, in part to prosecute hate crimes under the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Hate Crimes Act. His challenger Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost has long stood with anti-equality politicians working to undermine progress for Ohio’s LGBTQ community.

HRC also celebrates the victory of  Ohio State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio. First elected to the Ohio State House in 2010, Antonio is the first, and currently only, openly LGBTQ member of the Ohio State Legislature, and would be the first woman elected to serve Ohio Senate District 23. She has been a staunch advocate for LGBTQ Ohioans and is the primary sponsor of the Ohio Fairness Act, legislation that would bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in areas of employment, housing and public accommodations in Ohio.

Following tonight’s primary, HRC will be examining races up and down the ballot to determine additional endorsements for the 2018 general election. In Ohio, HRC has identified more than 1,550,000 “Equality Voters” -- voters who support  LGBTQ-inclusive policies including marriage equality, equitable family law, and laws that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. HRC has prioritized investments and organizing in Ohio in the 2018 cycle, and has already put staff and resources on the ground in the state. Last year, HRC announced a coast-to-coast campaign called HRC Rising, which represents the largest grassroots expansion in the organization’s 38-year history.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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