State Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) today provided sponsor testimony on House Bill (HB) 363 to designate October 11 as “Coming Out Day” in Ohio to raise awareness of civil rights for the LGBTQ+ community.
“By recognizing this day, the Ohio General Assembly can acknowledge that coming out is one of the most courageous steps any LGBTQ+ person can take,” said Rep. Boyd. “Our recognition of that courage helps counter bigotry, ignorance and fear, and is an integral part of our collective, continued progress towards full equality.”
National Coming Out Day is celebrated annually on October 11 to recognize the importance of “coming out” as LGBTQ+ to provide a source of community and strength for other LGBTQ+ individuals. In addition to normalizing LGBTQ+ identities, the day also seeks to combat discrimination and highlight civil rights infractions against the LGBTQ+ community.
According to the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), an independent non-profit think-tank, Ohio’s LGBT equality score is 2.75/38.5. The score allows policymakers to quickly and easily compare the overall LGBTQ+ policy climate across the country. Ohio’s low score is the result of its discriminatory policies such as in the areas of adoption and foster care, state family leave laws, credit and lending, housing and employment security, LGBTQ+ youth anti-bullying protections, and hate crime laws protecting LGBTQ+ individuals—also known as the ‘Gay and Trans Panic Defense’.
- Advocates of the bill are encouraged to contact the State and Local Government Committee Chairman to request that he bring the bill forward for more hearings.