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House Leaders Say They Have Questions About Bill to Promote Equality in Ohio

Children hold sign promoting equality
Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau
Children hold a sign promoting equality. Leaders in the Ohio House of Representatives say they have questions about a bill before them that would add sexual orientation to the list of the state's civil rights protections.

A bill that’s been introduced in the Ohio Legislature for the better part of two decadesnow would add sexual orientation to the state’s civil rights protections. The bill has bipartisan support and is getting hearings in the House. But House leaders say they have a lot of questions about it.  

The bill known as “The Fairness Act” hastypically been sponsored by Democrats but this time has support from some Republicans and business groups, including the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. But House Speaker Bob Cupp says Republican representatives are divided and have questions. 

“I mean how is it going to work in practice? Will we have a lot more lawsuits? You’ve got religious implications involved," Cupp said.

Cupp notes last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Civil Rights Act should also be applied to “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” Attorney General Dave Yost was among 15 attorney generals that argued against that ruling. But backers of Ohio’s bill say it is still needed to make sure LGBTQ Ohioans are not discriminated against in housing and public accommodations. 
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles
Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.