Senate District 23
Nickie J. Antonio
Antonio Reintroduces Bipartisan Legislation to Protect LGBTQ Ohioans from Housing, Employment Discrimination
February 14, 2019
State Sen. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) announced today that she has introduced Senate Bill 11, the “Ohio Fairness Act,” to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing or public accommodations. Senator Antonio was joined in co-sponsorship by her Democratic colleagues and state Senator Michael Rulli (R-Salem).

“This bill has support from the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Manufacturers' Association and hundreds of other businesses in our state,” said Senator Antonio. “Employers know these policies are good for business and create opportunity for communities, businesses and workers which can further Ohio as a serious contender in the global economy.”

Twenty-one Ohio cities and one county have already passed non-discrimination ordinances, and more than 400 businesses have joined Ohio Business Competes, a nonpartisan coalition of Ohio businesses that support nondiscrimination policies that are inclusive of LGBTQ Ohioans. Yet, Ohio remains one of 28 states without clear, inclusive non-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community.

North Carolina lost more than 2,000 jobs, and, according to an Associated Press study, the state will lose an estimated $3.76 billion over the next 12 years because of laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people. On the other hand, Facebook invested $1 billion in a new data center in Fort Worth, TX citing the city’s LGBTQ non-discrimination laws as a factor that influenced their decision.

“The Ohio Fairness Act makes sense for business. It makes sense for Ohioans and it is the right thing to do,” said Senator Antonio. “People deserve basic human dignity and rights in employment and housing. My bill will help Ohio become a safer, more welcoming place for all Ohio’s current and future residents.”

Sen. Antonio introduced the Ohio Fairness Act in each of her four terms in the Ohio House of Representatives. The bill was introduced this week and will soon be referred to committee. Antonio discussed the priority status of the Fairness Act on Wednesday during the Senate Democratic Caucus’ roundtable with statehouse media.
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