Ohio Fairness Act
The Ohio Fairness Act clarifies in Ohio law that discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression is illegal in Ohio.
That’s right––in most parts of Ohio, it’s still legal to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people.
Specifically, it protects against employment discrimination, housing discrimination, and discrimination in accessing basic goods and services (also known as public accommodations).
This year, the Senate version is Senate Bill 119 and is being led by Senators Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Michael Rulli (R-Salem). Equality Ohio has worked closely with these sponsors to reintroduce this important piece of legislation that will once and for all make it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
This year, the bipartisan coalition to secure LGBTQ+ equality in Ohio continues to grow with two new Republican co-sponsors, Senators Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) and Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville).
Over 30 localities in Ohio already have these protections, but not everybody lives in one of those areas creating a patchwork of protections where an LGBTQ+ person could lose their civil rights on their daily commute. The only solution is for a statewide law like HB119.
What We Are Working For Next
- A hearing for sponsor testimony. This hearing will give an opportunity to Senators Antonio and Rulli, the sponsors of the bill to tell the committee why they introduced the bill and answer questions the committee may have.
- A hearing for proponent testimony. If proponent testimony is scheduled, the committee will hear from people like you who support the Ohio Fairness Act. Contact our Public Policy Organizer, Kathryn Poe ([email protected]), if you would like to submit written testimony!
- A hearing for opposition testimony. If opposition testimony is given, then the committee will hear only from people who oppose LGBTQ+ equality. This is a normal part of the legislative process.
- A committee vote in support of the Ohio Fairness Act. If the bill is voted out of committee, then it can be considered for a floor vote by the entire Ohio Senate.
- A vote on the Senate floor in support of the Ohio Fairness Act. If it is voted out of the Ohio Senate, then the process repeats in the Ohio House.