For decades, some Ohio lawmakers have wanted to expand the state’s civil rights law to include sexual orientation. They’ve now made a change in the way they plan to do that, by substituting their bill with another that’s tied to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that federal civil rights law prohibits discrimination of employees based on sexual orientation or gender. State Senator Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood), who has been sponsoring the legislation for a decade in both chambers of the Ohio Legislature, says that court ruling has now allowed backers of the proposed change in Ohio’s civil rights law to substitute the previous bill.
“I think it’s clearer, it’s concise, and it’s also very, very direct," Antonio says.
Antonio says the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled on the legality of the issue. So, she hopes the new bipartisan sub bill will pass during the upcoming lame duck session.
More than 1000 businesses and major organizations, including the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, have called for this change, saying it would make Ohio more attractive to business development.