On Nov. 7, Ohio voters elected 11 openly gay and lesbian public officials. These include Megan Kilgore, the city auditor in Columbus, and Democrat Ryan Mess, who garnered the most votes of 13 candidates in the race for Cincinnati Board of Education.
In Ohio, LGBT people may be legally fired or denied an apartment for their sexual identity or orientation unless they live in one of 19 currently protected cities. This makes the election of LGBT officials especially meaningful in Ohio.
Ohio House Rep. Nickie Antonio, D-Lakewood, sponsored a bill last June that would change that. The Ohio Fairness Act (H.B. 160) would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in housing and employment. This reflects similar protections already in place in 22 states.
The bill is a “fair proposal that will simply give people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender the same freedom to work, the same freedom to live where they choose, the same equal participation in society, just as anyone else in Ohio,” Antonio told reporters.
“No one should be denied access to a home and all that comes with that responsibility,” she added. “No one should live in fear of losing their job, or be denied the right to pursue a career and be a contributing member of society.”
Read the full story from The Athens News here.