The Midterms and LGBTQ Ohioans

Tuesday’s election results brought a flood of emotions for LGBTQ people and their allies across the country. We’ve taken the last few days to process, analyze, and strategize. Our conclusion:

Ohio is ready for equality and we are more dedicated and prepared than ever to make that happen.

Equality Ohio was more engaged in this election than ever before. We released our first-ever Elected Official Scorecard to show LGBTQ Ohioans and their allies how their elected officials and candidates for statewide office have voted and spoke on the issues so important to our community, giving voters the opportunity to hold their representatives accountable. We also engaged with thousands of voters in the weeks leading up to the election through our Come Out to Vote collaboration with state and national partners.

While pro-equality candidates didn’t fare as well as we would have liked here in Ohio, the United States as a whole elected the most LGBTQ candidates in its history. Historic wins for Jared Polis (the first openly gay man to be elected governor of Colorado), Kyrsten Sinema (the first openly bisexual person elected to the Senate), and Sharice Davids (the first gay Native American to be elected to Congress) were just a few of these major steps forward for LGBTQ visibility in state and national politics.

In Ohio, Nickie Antonio was elected as the first openly LGBTQ member of the Ohio Senate and Ohioans across the state resoundingly sent Sherrod Brown, an ardent fighter for LGBTQ Ohioans back to the U.S. Senate.

Additionally, Ohio voters saw more LGBTQ candidates on their ballots than ever before. While these many of these candidates may not have seen the results that they would have liked, they created a great amount of visibility for LGBTQ Ohioans. After his concession speech, Rick Neal––who was running to represent Ohio’s 15th Congressional District––shared a kiss with his husband on the news. From Athens and Washington Counties in Southeast Ohio to Logan County in Northwest Ohio and Portage County in Northeast Ohio, these candidates shared their stories and experiences with Ohioans across the political spectrum.

In the next month and a half, the Ohio Legislature has an incredible opportunity to pass the Ohio Fairness Act, which will provide nondiscrimination protections to all Ohioans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. To make that happen, we need your help. Get involved. Call your State Representative. Take action.

ACT: Visit our Action Center here to learn how you can make a difference in passing the Ohio Fairness Act.