Ohio

LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in the States

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

There are currently no explicit, comprehensive statewide nondiscrimination 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, the Ohio Fairness Act. Ohioans from all across the state came together to share their stories and testify in favor of LGBTQ protections. The bill was considered throughout 2018.

In both 2019 and 2020, the Ohio Fairness Act was again introduced, but never moved in either the House or Senate.

History of LGBTQ Nondiscrimination 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.
  • December 19, 2018: Governor John Kasich signs an executive order prohibiting discrimination in state employment on the basis of gender identity and expression.

Municipalities With LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Protections in Ohio:

The following municipalities protect people from discrimination in housing only on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity:

  • Amberley Village
  • City of Oberlin
  • City of Steubenville
  • City of Wickliffe

The following municipalities protect people from discrimination in housing only on the basis of their sexual orientation:

  • City of Lorain
  • City of Reminderville
  • City of Sheffield Lake

The following municipalities protect people from discrimination in employment and housing only on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity:

  • City of Canton

The following municipalities protect people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity: 

  • City of Akron
  • City of Athens
  • City of Beachwood
  • City of Bexley
  • City of Bowling Green
  • City of Brook Park
  • City of Cincinnati
  • City of Cleveland
  • City of Cleveland Heights
  • City of Columbus
  • City of Coshocton
  • City of Cuyahoga Heights
  • City of Dayton
  • City of East Cleveland
  • City of Euclid
  • City of Gambier
  • City of Golf Manor
  • City of Kent
  • City of Lakewood
  • City of Maple Heights
  • City of Medina
  • City of Newark
  • City of North Olmsted
  • City of Olmsted Falls
  • City of Oxford
  • City of Portsmouth
  • City of Reynoldsburg
  • City of Sandusky
  • City of Shaker Heights
  • City of South Euclid
  • City of Springfield
  • City of Toledo
  • City of University Heights
  • City of Warrensville Heights
  • City of Westerville
  • City of Worthington
  • Village of Yellow Springs
  • City of Youngstown
  • Cuyahoga County

Last Updated January 05, 2021

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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