COLUMBUS—While Ohioans were sleeping, House Democratic lawmakers were offering two amendments on the House floor late Thursday and early Friday that would have prohibited the sale, display, possession or distribution of Confederate memorabilia at county and independent fairs, following a similar rule instituted by the Ohio State Fair in 2015. The motions came during floor debate on House Bill 665, which made several other changes to laws on local and county fairs. The U.S. Marines, U.S. Navy and NASCAR recently announced similar bans on Confederate memorabilia. Republicans rejected the amendments largely along party lines, voting instead to protect the sale of the Confederate flag.
“It’s too little too late for mere lip service about healing divisions,” said Rep. Jeff Crossman (D-Parma) “It’s time for Republicans to show they are serious with action because, as protesters have been saying in the streets, 'enough is enough.' The Republican silence on the issue is deafening and it's silence that is complicity to injustice.”
The amendments come amid continued demonstrations in dozens of cities and towns across Ohio where protesters have called for an end to police brutality, white supremacy and racism in the United States following the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
A second Democratic amendment would have cut state funding to county and independent fairs who allow the sale of Confederate memorabilia. Republicans tabled that amendment as well.
House Bill 665 passed the House and now moves to the Senate for consideration.