Today, state Senator Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) sent a letter to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost in response to the announcement that Yost has joined 19 Republican attorneys general from other states in suing to halt the U.S. Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s directives expanding federal sex discrimination protections to the LGBTQ community.
“I am saddened beyond measure that you have chosen to weaponize the power of your office and the state’s taxpayer dollars against its own citizens,” said Antonio. “It is the Attorney General’s duty as the state’s chief legal officer to protect our children and families, not to attack and malign hardworking Ohioans who happen to be from the LGBTQ community.”
In response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last year in Bostock v. Clayton County that employees cannot be fired because of their gender identity and sexual orientation under Title VII, the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission both issued directives extending anti-discrimination protections to the LGBTQ community. The lawsuit, filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court in Knoxville, Tennessee, alleges the agencies overreached their authority and that the Bostock ruling does not apply in every case.
“Young people are leaving Ohio at an alarming rate, and regressive, discriminatory practices like this are driving them. Recently-released census data shows that Ohio’s population has grown only 2.3% over the last decade, lagging behind the national growth of 7.4%. Two-thirds of Ohio counties have lost population in that decade as well,” said Antonio. “If we truly want our state to flourish in the years to come, we must foster an inclusive environment accepting of the richness of diversity this nation has to offer, not post a sign on our door making it clear that only some are welcome.”
For a copy of Senator Antonio’s letter, click here