Skip to main content
State Seal State Seal State Seal
Home Button Home Button Home Button

Rep. Brent co-sponsors Ohio Fairness Act

Says inclusive policies will attract workers, business investment to Ohio
March 12, 2021
Juanita O. Brent News

Representative Juanita Brent signed on as a co-sponsor to the Ohio Fairness Act, bipartisan legislation that would protect LGBTQ+ Ohioans from discrimination in employment, housing and accommodations. A previous version of the Ohio Fairness Act (The Equal Housing and Employment Act) passed the Ohio House of Representatives on Sept. 15, 2009, with bipartisan support. Last General Assembly, the Ohio Fairness Act had 3 hearings but did not receive a committee vote.

“It’s completely unacceptable that in 2021 this legislation is still needed,” said Rep. Brent. “This bill will help all Ohioans have the opportunity to live their American Dream right here at home. LGBTQ+ Ohioans deserve equal protections under the law and to be treated with dignity and respect. No one should be denied employment, housing, or other services because of who they love. Not only is this legislation the right thing to do, this is how we make Ohio a more welcoming state for employees and businesses, not expensive PR campaigns. We need to pass this bill and I’m proud to be a co-sponsor again this General Assembly.”

In June 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQ+ workers are protected from workplace discrimination under federal law. The Ohio Fairness Act goes further by expanding LGBTQ+ protections to include not just employment, but also housing and services in Ohio.

On Feb. 25, 2021, the U.S. House passed the Equality Act, similar legislation which would provide anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, and federally funded programs. The Equality Act now faces an uncertain future in the U.S. Senate. 

The majority of Ohio business owners support adding LGBTQ+ non-discrimination to Ohio law, with more than 50 percent saying nondiscrimination laws improve businesses’ bottom lines. More than 800 leading Ohio businesses and organizations have backed the Ohio Fairness Act, which they say will attract workers, increase investment and grow the state’s economy.

The Ohio Fairness Act now awaits referral to a House committee.