Crain’s Editorial: Fair’s fair

by | Jun 21, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court last week delivered a strong message for equality in ruling that federal civil rights law prohibits employers from discriminating against gay and transgender workers. Now it’s time — well past time, actually — for Ohio to do its part by passing the Ohio Fairness Act, which would provide important state-level workplace protections for LGBTQ citizens as well as protections in housing and public accommodations.

First and foremost, the Supreme Court’s decision represents a victory for decency in its acknowledgment that LGBTQ workers should have equal treatment under the law with respect to their lives in the workplace. As an economic matter, it goes a long way toward unlocking the full potential of all members of the workforce, as it means LGBTQ workers can move more freely between companies, or within them, with less fear of being fired. Eliminating forms of discrimination makes it more likely people can flourish at their job, or find a better one, and over time that should lead to a healthier economy.

Ohio can do more to make itself an equitable and attractive place for LGBTQ citizens to live and work. The Ohio Fairness Act has been debated in various forms for years. It currently exists as Senate Bill 11, sponsored by Sen. Nickie Antonio, a Lakewood Democrat who is the state’s only openly gay lawmaker, and House Bill 369, co-sponsored by another Lakewood Democrat, Rep. Michael Skindell.

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