Three Democrats would like Ohio state laws catch up with public opinion by bringing more equality and protection for LGBTQ people.
Reps. Denise Driehaus of Cincinnati, Nickie Antonio of Lakewood and Debbie Phillips of Albany held a conference call pleading for three bills currently pending in the General Assembly of Ohio.
“We believe every Ohioan should be free to be who they are” without fear of discrimination in employment, housing and business, and without becoming victims of hate crimes, Antonio told the Colombus Dispatch. “Citizens of Ohio are way ahead of the legislature on this. It’s time for us to catch up.”
There are indeed gaps in Ohio. For example, 15 cities have non-discrimination laws, but not the state.
The three bills they have sponsored are the House Bill 389, “to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations;” the House Bill 247, to ban “conversion therapy” on lesbian, gay and transgender youth; and the House Bill 569, to add sexual orientation and gender identity to hate-crime law.
The Senate and the House are both controlled by Republicans who said that they could hold hearings on two of the three bills, but they have not committed to do it, so it is still uncertain.
Democrats are planning to tour the state this summer to talk to people on the issues of protection of LGBTQ people.
Also an Ohio State Bar Association committee will review the laws and make recommendations to legislators on changes to conform to the legalization of marriage equality.