Today, state Sen. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood)
announced the most robust bipartisan and bicameral reintroduction of the Ohio Fairness Act, legislation to prohibit discrimination of LGBTQ+ Ohioans.
“I believe that every person deserves these fundamental protections in order to fully participate in our society free from fear, harassment, and discrimination. It is time for the State of Ohio to act to ensure that the basic civil rights of all Ohioans are being protected,” said Antonio during a press conference announcing the legislation. “I am pleased to be joined by Senator Michael Rulli as we take this opportunity to aspire into reality, that indeed, Ohio is open for business to all. An economy that works for everyone creates opportunity and can move Ohio forward to flourish.”
Antonio was joined by the other sponsors of this legislation who made the following statements:
“I look forward to building an Ohio where everyone can thrive and feel welcome,” said Sen. Michael Rulli (R-Salem)
, the joint sponsor of the Senate version of the bill. “Since I have been in office, I have striven to make Ohio a place where our kids can build meaningful and fulfilling lives. They don’t need to move to another state, they can feel at home right here. This legislation can help all people feel accepted in our great state, and I am proud to be a part of it.”
“As we work to grow our economy and lower unemployment, we must not allow discrimination of any form to occur,” said Rep. Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood)
. “Qualified and competent employees can currently lose their jobs because of who they are or whom they love. Ohio should be a welcoming place to attract and retain the most talented workers. This legislation will also provide equity and fairness in the housing market.”
“As a Republican, I believe that all Americans should have the opportunity and freedom to live their lives, and this legislation provides them the opportunity to do just that,” said Rep. Brett Hillyer (R-Uhrichsville)
Legislators were also joined by representatives for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Equality Ohio, American Civil Liberties Union, business owners and a faith leader.
Antonio has introduced similar legislation in every General Assembly in which she’s served since 2011. Antonio says the bill will be introduced in the coming weeks.
Video of the press conference can be found here