Ohio State Senator Nickie Antonio has penned an open letter to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost denouncing his decision to join Ohio with 19 other states to file suit against the Biden administration’s efforts to provide protections to the LGBTQ+ community.
Led by Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, the 20 states argue that the U.S. Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are misinterpreting the landmark June 2020 Bostock Supreme Court decision by asserting that Title VII protects LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in employment and education.
Ohio and the other states are looking to be protected in a litany of anti-LGBTQ+ efforts including separating sports teams and dress codes according to “biological sex,” not being required to use an individuals stated pronouns, and limiting bathroom access.
In her August 31 letter to Yost, Antonio—the Minority Whip and the only out LGBTQ+ member of the Ohio state legislature—wrote that she is “saddened beyond measure that you have chosen to weaponize the power of your office and the state’s taxpayer dollars against its own citizens.”
She went on to highlight that two-thirds of Ohio counties have experienced population decline over the past decade and that “regressive, discriminatory practices” like this lawsuit are driving young people to leave Ohio “at an alarming rate.”
“If we truly want our state to flourish in the years to come, we must foster an inclusive environment accepting of the richness of diversity this nation has to offer, not post a sign on our door making it clear that only some are welcome.”
The full letter can be read here.
With the Ohio Fairness Act in committee, Ohio currently does not offer LGBTQ+ protections in housing, employment, and public accommodations, and with the Equality Act seemingly stalled out, nor are these protections provided federally.
- Contact your Ohio State Representatives to make your voice heard about the Ohio Fairness Act. You can go here and enter in your info to find out “Who represents me?”
- Dial 472472 to be connected to your U.S. Senator to make your voice heard about the Equality Act.