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Leader Sykes statement as U.S. Supreme Court rules workers cannot be fired for LGBTQ status

June 15, 2020
Democrat Newsroom

Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) issued a statement following today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling which held LGBTQ workers are protected from workplace discrimination under federal law.

“I was delighted to read the words, ‘An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law.’ This decision is an important first step in ensuring our friends, family, and neighbors who identify as LGBTQ have the opportunity to fully realize their American Dream. However in order to live that dream in Ohio we must ensure discrimination based on gender identity and expression is ended through passing the Ohio Fairness Act. I call on my colleagues Speaker Householder and Senate president Obhof to immediately pass the necessary protections to ensure everyone Ohioan can live their American Dream, right here in Ohio,” Leader Sykes said.

Democrats have pushed the bipartisan Ohio Fairness Act, which would expand LGBTQ protections to include not just employment, but also housing and services in Ohio. The then-Democrat led Ohio House passed similar legislation in 2009, but Republicans have stalled the legislation in subsequent General Assemblies.

Additionally, House Democrats last year called out Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) for not extending anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ House employees—the only state employees without explicit protections.