Ohio Fairness Act hearings pushed to 2018

COLUMBUS — A second hearing for the Ohio Fairness Act has been pushed to January 2018, the Columbus Patch reported Tuesday.

The act would amend Ohio’s anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression as protected classes, expanding legal protections in housing, employment, and access to public services, according to the ACLU of Ohio. The bill also provides a restatement of First Amendment principles and current case law.

The law does have the support of many Ohio business.

“HB 160 is supported by many of Ohio’s most successful businesses and has the potential to serve as an economic catalyst to drive innovation, spur investment and attract the best and brightest to Ohio,” State Rep. Nickie Antonio told the Patch. “We’re not deterred by this delay, and I look forward to hearing from our local and statewide chambers of commerce and over 200 businesses who have joined Ohio Business Competes to support fairness for all Ohioans as we continue hearings in the new year.”

Ohio is one of 28 states with no statewide protection of LGBTQ.