COLUMBUS – Today, State Senator Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood) and Assistant Senate Minority Leader Charleta B. Tavares (D-Columbus) reintroduced legislation to expand Ohio Civil Rights Law to LGBTQ Ohioans. Senate Bill 100 would extend employment, housing, and public accommodations protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to the covered areas currently identified as unlawful discriminatory practices.
“As we work to grow our economy and lower unemployment, we must not allow discrimination of any form to occur,” said Senator Skindell. “Qualified and competent employees can currently lose their jobs because of who they are or whom they love. Ohio should be a welcoming place to attract and retain the most talented workers. SB 100 will also provide equity and fairness in the housing market.”
Ohio is currently one of 28 states that do not provide housing and workplace protections for sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in a clear, consistent manner. Sixteen Ohio cities have passed non-discrimination ordinances and 80 of the top 98 employers in Ohio have policies that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Senate Bill 100 would extend these protections to every person who lives and works in Ohio.
“It is far past time for Ohio to join the 22 other states that have decided to stand up for the rights of their LGBTQ residents,” stated Senator Tavares. “Ohio must continue to strive for inclusivity; our state should be a place where anyone can come to live and seek employment regardless of their race, ethnicity, age, gender orientation, or sexual identity.”
“I hear from people every single day who have experienced discrimination because of who they are or whom they love. This bill would give victims of discrimination a voice,” said Alana Jochum, Executive Director of Equality Ohio. “Ohio is home to employers of considerable size––we need to keep talent here in Ohio, not push it away because our state is unwelcoming to LGBTQ people. I’m thankful the Senators have introduced this important legislation.”