The Ohio House of Representatives: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Voters in Ohio have huge decisions to make this election season, but some of the most important decisions are made by individuals at the bottom of the ballot. Members of the Ohio House of Representatives have the opportunity to pass legislation that can greatly help or greatly hurt the LGBTQ community here in Ohio.

Some of the most harmful bills that came out of the Ohio House of Representatives this General Assembly include the so-called Pastor Protection Act (HB36) and HB658, which would require teachers and other school staff to “out” children expressing gender nonconformity.

In our grading process, no representative who was a sponsor or co-sponsor of either of these bills received a grade higher than a C-. Any representative formally associated with HB658 received an F and made our Adversaries list, an exclusive list of a few of the most anti-LGBTQ lawmakers in the state.

Related: Rep. Nino Vitale isn’t happy about getting an F

Passing the Ohio Fairness Act (HB160) is our main legislative priority, and where members formally stand on it had the potential to make or break their score. Support of HB160 and public statements in support of LGBTQ Ohioans were major factors in separating helpful Representatives from out and open allies to the LGBTQ community.

There are several representatives who earned a grade between B- and B+ who could have easily earned an A if they had signed on as a co-sponsor of the Ohio Fairness Act and/or simply posted on social media or campaign website in support of LGBTQ Ohioans.

Similar to the Adversaries list, we also developed a list of Allies who are champions for LGBTQ justice in the Ohio Legislature.

In the Ohio House, the biggest ally to LGBTQ Ohioans is the only legislator who is also an open member of the LGBTQ community, Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-13). Rep. Antonio is leading the charge for nondiscrimination protections as the Sponsor of HB160 and is active in increasing LGBTQ visibility in Ohio politics.

While voting for those in U.S. Senate and Congressional races is important, the individuals who make the most important decisions for LGBTQ Ohioans, like passing the Ohio Fairness Act, work at the statehouse. We urge you to cast a vote in every race on the ballot and use our scorecard to ensure those votes are as informed as they can be.