Ohio Chamber of Commerce Officially Endorses HB 160, Statewide Non-Discrimination Legislation

By Shane Stahl • January 22, 2018 • 12:47 pm

For the first time in the history of the ten years in which non-discrimination legislation has been debated in the statehouse, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce has given their powerful endorsement to such legislation, currently filed as House Bill 160.

The bill, sponsored by Representative Nickie Antonio of Lakewood, is known as the Ohio Fairness Act and would provide statewide non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ people in housing, employment, and public accommodations. The bill is currently scheduled for a hearing in committee on January 31.

In addition to the endorsement of the Chamber, a coalition of more than 300 businesses both large and small known as Ohio Business Competes have also banded together to express their support for non-discrimination protections, giving the bill more momentum than ever before.

Representative Antonio said in a press conference on January 17:

“It’s a fair proposal that simply gives people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer the same freedom to work, the same freedom to live where they choose to live, the same full equal participation in society, just as anybody else in Ohio.”

Previously in 2009, a non-discrimination bill that included housing and employment passed a Democratically controlled House but failed to advance in the Senate. Last year, Ohio Governor John Kasich said he would support an anti-discrimination bill.

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