4/12/16 – HB 286/Pastor Protection Act receives opposition testimony (Equality Ohio and faith leaders present)
2/9/16 – “Pastor Protection Act” HB286 receives proponent testimony hearing; no opponent testimony hearing scheduled
11/5/15 – Rep. Antonio and Rep. Driehaus introduce nondiscrimination bill HB389

Bills to watch in the 2015-16 legislature

HB247 – Health professionals-sex orientation change efforts-minor patients-prohibit

Primary Sponsor(s): Representative Denise Driehaus, Representative Debbie Phillips

Summary: Amends sections of Ohio’s Revised Code to prohibit certain health care professionals from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts when treating minor patients. Note: The bill defines “sexual orientation change efforts” as “the practice of seeking to change a person’s sexual orientation, including efforts to change behaviors, gender identity, or gender expressions, or to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward a person of the same gender.” This is a companion bill to SB74.

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HB262 – Municipality-assistance from Civil Rights Commission

Primary Sponsor: Representative Michael Stinziano, Representative Greta Johnson

Summary: This bill would amend the Revised Code to allow a municipal corporation to request assistance from the Ohio Civil Rights Commission in receiving, investigating, passing upon, and enforcing alleged violations of an ordinance of the municipal corporation that prohibits discrimination and to require the Ohio Civil Rights Commission to provide the assistance if the resources necessary are available.

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HB286 – Religious-not required to solemnize marriages-if object for religious reason (aka, Pastor Protection Act)

Primary Sponsor(s): Representative A. Nino Vitale

Summary: This bill restates existing first amendment protections which allow ordained clergy to refuse to marry a same-sex couple.

Action Status: The bill had sponsor testimony on 12/8/15 and proponent testimony on 2/9/16. The next action for Equality Ohio members to participate would be during opponent testimony. Opponent testimony was on 4/12/16. Equality Ohio and faith leaders spoke against the bill at that hearing.

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Read the bill
Read statement from Catholic Conference of Ohio
Action: contact your legislator and tell them you do not support HB286
 Action: sign our petition and we’ll alert you of any change in status

HB296 – Same sex marriage-business not required to participate

Primary Sponsor(s): Representative Ron Young

Summary: This bill states that a business is not required to participate in a marriage between two persons of the same sex if such participation violates the business’s right of conscience or freedom of religion.

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HB389 – Sexual orientation/gender identity-prohibit discrimination/religious rights

Primary Sponsor(s): Representative Nickie J. Antonio, Representative Denise Driehaus

Summary: This bill prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/orientation while restating existing religious protections.

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HB425 – Student religious expression

Primary Sponsor(s): Representative Bill Hayes

Summary: Removes provisions in the Ohio Revised Code that restricts students exercises or expression of religious beliefs to lunch periods and other noninstructional time. Widens the term “religious expression” by adding “distribution of written materials” and other activities. On 2/9/16, HB425 got sponsor and proponent testimony. More testimony was heard on 2/17/16.

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HB537 – Sexual orientation-housing/employment discrimination/religious beliefs protected/marriage solemnization

Primary Sponsor(s): Representative William C. Hayes

Summary: Provides some nondiscrimination protections for LGB Ohioans. Does not include transgender Ohioans.

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SB74 – Health care professionals-sexual orientation change efforts with minor patients-prohibit

Primary Sponsor(s): Senator Charleta B. Tavares

Summary: Amends sections of Ohio’s Revised Code to prohibit certain health care professionals from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts when treating minor patients. Note: The bill defines “sexual orientation change efforts” as “the practice of seeking to change a person’s sexual orientation, including efforts to change behaviors, gender identity, or gender expressions, or to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward a person of the same gender.” This is a companion bill to HB247.

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SB268 – Employment-civil rights/statute of limitations-certain claims

Primary Sponsor(s): Senator Bill Seitz

Summary: Modifies Ohio civil rights laws related to employment and the statute of limitations for other specified claims against an employer.

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Read position statement from Ohio Employment Lawyers Association

HB 410 – Habitual/chronic truancy and compulsory school attendance

Primary SponsorBill Hayes (R), Jeffery Rezabek (R)

Summary: HB 410 addresses the adverse consequences of exclusionary school discipline and truancy that disproportionately affect students of color, students with disabilities, and students in low-income families.

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