Last Updated: November 15, 2016
Ohio is one of 28 states that leaves LGBTQ people out of laws that make discrimination illegal.
However, some individual communities have enacted these protections themselves.
Equality Ohio performed an analysis on the city codes of over 100 Ohio cities for this map. City officials may request a copy of a their municipal legal memo by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Discrimination in the workplace can take many forms, such as not being hired because you are gay, jokes or harassment because you are bisexual, or even being “deadnamed.” If your city has local protections, there may be an agency or commission you can contact locally. If not, you can file a report with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.
If a landlord refuses to rent, show you an apartment, or suddenly raises your rent, it is possible you are a victim of discrimination. Reporting discrimination varies depending on where you live and whether LGBTQ people are protected under your community’s laws.
Public Accommodations Discrimination
Public accommodations are things like stores, restaurants, parks and movie theaters. If your community protects LGBTQ people from this type of discrimination, a business establishment may not refuse you service on the grounds that you are LGBTQ.
In 16 cities in Ohio, discrimination in those three areas against LGBTQ people is illegal.
They are: Athens, Bexley, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Columbus, Coshocton, Dayton, East Cleveland, Lakewood, Newark, Oxford, Toledo, Yellow Springs, and Youngstown.
Do you have a story to share?
Personal stories about discrimination are very powerful. If you have experienced discrimination and want to speak out about it, please tell us your story of discrimination!
While Ohio’s discrimination laws do not include LGBTQ people, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission may be able to help you. Here is how to file a complaint.
I want my community to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination!
Reaching out directly to lawmakers can be a very powerful action––lawmakers take hearing from their constituents very seriously.
You can copy and paste the below, but it’s more personal if you make it your own!
Dear City Councilmember [NAME],
I am writing to inform you that [MUNICIPALITY] does not have a law protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people from discrimination at work, in access to housing, and in public accommodations.
According to Equality Ohio, fifteen cities in Ohio have already taken this step. They are: Athens, Bexley, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Columbus, Coshocton, Dayton, East Cleveland, Lakewood, Newark, Oxford, Toledo and Yellow Springs.
I believe it is time for [MUNICIPALITY] to do the same.
According to the Small Business Majority, 70% of small businesses support a law like this throughout Ohio.
I believe that everybody should have a fair shot at having a job, having a home, and being able to provide security for their family without worrying about being discriminated against.
Thank you for your time and for your contributions to [MUNICIPALITY].
Don’t underestimate the power of a good, old fashioned letter to the editor to get a conversation started.
If you can tie it to a recent story the newspaper has published, it may have a better chance at making the cut.
Over 150 cities in the country protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people from discrimination. But [MUNICIPALITY] doesn’t. Why?
All of those cities send a message that their city is welcoming and affirming of everybody. I think it’s time that [MUNICIPALITY] join them and 15 other cities in Ohio that have already modernized their laws.