Ohio Fairness Act

photo of Ohio Statehouse
ANDREW MEYER / WKSU

There were 21 bills that state lawmakers managed to the governor's desk for his signature. However, there are many other bills that received a lot of attention this year but are still waiting in the wings for 2020. Here's a look at the bills that did not pass in 2019.

Sentencing reform
Coming into the new General Assembly, lawmakers made tackling drug sentencing laws a top priority after encouraging voters to reject Issue 1 on last November's ballot.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, Oct. 17:

Fairness Act Gains GOP Support in Ohio House

Oct 16, 2019
a pride flag
ELIZABETH WINTERBOURNE / SHUTTERSTOCK

More lawmakers are pushing for a bill that would protect rights for LGBTQ people in Ohio, ensuring access to housing and employment. The bill, which is known as the Fairness Act, is getting a boost from a Republican backer. 

The Fairness Act is gaining momentum with its introduction in the House. State Rep. Brett Hillyer (R-Uhrichsville) says this is an issue that his fellow party members should support.

House Democrats are calling on the Speaker to add protections for LGBTQ members and staffers to the chamber’s employee handbook. A recent draft of the guidelines left sexual orientation and gender identity off the list of protected traits.

ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Some Ohio legislators have been trying for years to add sexual orientation and gender identity or expression into the state’s anti-discrimination law. The bill, known as the “Ohio Fairness Act,” would make those additions a protected class in employment, housing and other public accommodations. 

Right now, a person in Ohio could be fired from their job, kicked out of their apartment, or refused service based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.