Ohio

LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in the States

Ohio
No Statewide LGBT Non-Discrimination Protections
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LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Ohio:

There are currently no explicit, comprehensive statewide non-discrimination protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people in Ohio.

The Latest on LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Ohio:

In January 2018 lawmakers in Ohio held the first hearing on a comprehensive LGBTQ non-discrimination bill in over a decade. Ohioans from all across the state came together to share their stories and testify in favor of LGBTQ protections. The bill will be considered throughout 2018.

History of LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Ohio:

  • 2005: Equality Ohio, the Buckeye State’s leading group working toward non-discrimination for LGBTQ people, is founded by over 65 LGBTQ leaders from all corners of the state in response to Ohio’s passage of a constitutional amendment banning the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. 
  • September 15, 2009: State Rep. Nickie Antonio’s Equal Housing and Employment Act passes the House by a vote of 56-39, the first ever vote by the Ohio legislature to protect LGBTQ people. Unfortunately, the bill is not given testimony or a vote, and dies in the Senate at the end of the legislative session.
  • January 21, 2011: Governor John Kasich issues an executive order banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in state employment.   
  • March 15, 2013: U.S. Senator Rob Portman voices his support for non-discrimination, the first ever Republican Senator from the state to do so.
  • September 15, 2017: Equality Ohio launches Ohio Business Competes, an initiative gathering both big and small business pledges supporting comprehensive non-discrimination policies.
  • July 31, 2017: The number of cities with comprehensive non-discrimination protections in Ohio grows to 19 as the town of Kent passes LGBTQ non-discrimination protections.
  • January 31, 2018: Lawmakers hold a hearing on HB160, also known as the Ohio Fairness Act, which would provide inclusive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people in housing, employment, and public accommodations. This marks the first time in Ohio history a comprehensive non-discrimination bill has received a second hearing in the state legislature.
  • September 26, 2018: Cuyahoga County, Ohio’s single largest municipality, passes countywide nondiscrimination protections by a vote of 8-3, protecting 1.1 million people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

Municipalities With LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Ohio:

  • The following municipalities protect people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity: MAP has a full list.
  • City of Akron
  • City of Athens
  • City of Bexley
  • City of Bowling Green
  • City of Canton
  • City of Cincinnati
  • City of Cleveland
  • City of Cleveland Heights
  • City of Columbus
  • City of Coshocton
  • City of Dayton
  • City of East Cleveland
  • City of Kent
  • City of Lakewood
  • City of Newark
  • City of Olmsted Falls
  • City of Oxford
  • City of South Euclid
  • City of Toledo
  • City of Youngstown
  • Village of Yellow Springs
  • Cuyahoga County

Last Updated October 9, 2018

Active Litigation

Jane Doe v. Highland Local School District

Case Concerning Restroom Access for Transgender Students

Key Date: February 22, 2018 • 6th Circuit Rejects Anti-LGBTQ Request for Stay of Lower Court Ruling
Status: Case Resolved
Legal Team: National Center for Lesbian Rights
Type: Discrimination Targeting Transgender Students

Highland Local Schools in Ohio is refusing to respect the gender identity of transgender students, including a young transgender girl, Jane Doe. Following an investigation by the United States Department of Education, the District was found to be violating Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

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