State Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) today expressed her support and applauded council members’ leadership in the passage of the human rights ordinance by Cuyahoga County Council. The ordinance passed by an 8-3 majority Tuesday evening, making Cuyahoga County the first county in Ohio to ban discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. It will also create a human rights commission that will investigate and rule on complaints.
“This is both a civil rights and an economic issue,” said Rep. Antonio. “I am hopeful that the passage of this important county ordinance will be instrumental in helping statewide efforts to ban discrimination against people in the LGBT community. Nondiscrimination policies have the potential to serve as an economic catalyst to drive innovation, spur investment and attract the best and brightest to Ohio. Above all, it is the right thing to do.”
Ohio remains one of 28 states without clear, inclusive, non-discrimination protections for the LGBT community. Nearly two dozen Ohio cities have already passed non-discrimination ordinances, and over 80 percent of the top employers in Ohio have corporate policies that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
“Members of the LGBT community are no different from our neighbors. We work, we worship, we pay taxes, we send our children to schools and we even represent our communities,” said Rep. Antonio. “Cuyahoga County passing this ordinance tells people that our region is open for business to everyone.”
Rep. Antonio testified in support of this ordinance in July of this year. At the beginning of the 132nd Ohio General Assembly, Antonio introduced House Bill (HB) 160, which would ban discrimination against all LGBT Ohioans. Antonio’s legislation received two hearings and support from more than 400 leading Ohio businesses, including the Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio Manufacturing Association. Still, the bill has yet to advance through the GOP-controlled Ohio House of Representatives.
Follow the link below from 24:10 – 38:45 to watch Rep. Antonio testify in support of the ordinance.