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Ohio House Passes Non-Discrimination Bill

Jim Burroway

September 15th, 2009

Five years after Ohio voters passed one of the most draconian anti-marriage constitutional amendments in the nation, the Ohio House of Representatives passed the Equal Housing and Employment Act by a vote of 56-38. Four Republicans voted for the measure, and no Democrats voted against (one did not vote however). This fully inclusive bill marks the first time a pro-LGBT bill has passed either house of the General Assembly.  The Senate is firmly in Republican hands, making the bill’s prognosis uncertain.

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Penguinsaur
September 15th, 2009 | LINK

So why exactly do these people who dont hate gays in any way want to be able to fire them for being gay?

Its such a load of a pathetic BS. You hate gay people, their is literally no other reason. NONE. No one believes those racist jackasses we see in civil rights era footage claiming to be defending ‘tradition’ and ‘moral integrity’ and we don’t believe the current batch of bigots either.

Matt
September 15th, 2009 | LINK

Because in conservatives’ minds, the right of business owners to fire somebody for being gay outweighs a gay person’s right to work for a living.

Désirée
September 16th, 2009 | LINK

Actually Matt, it’s a Freedom of association thing. A business owner shold have the right to hire and/or fire who ever they wish. A potential employee has no right to a job *at someone else’s expense* There is no “right to work for someone” It doesn’t exist. If someone doesn’t want to hire me because I’m lesbian, trans, white,atheist, libertarian, red headed, too fat, too thin, left handed, Catholic or any other non-merit based reason, they should be free to sabotage their own business that way. Of course, they should be called out it as well and consumers shou8ld be free to choose whether or not they wish to do business with such a company.

Matt
September 16th, 2009 | LINK

So in theory, Desiree, you’d be fine if a gay-owned business decided to fire all of its straight employees because they were straight?

Timothy Kincaid
September 16th, 2009 | LINK

Desiree,

I appreciate your value of the right to association. And, indeed, if there were no non-discrimination laws at all I would be in agreement.

But currently we have laws that protect some targets of discrimination and not others. This actually serves to give permission – encouragement even – to discriminate against those not on the list. This is especially true when the legislature is fully aware of anti-gay discrimination and decides NOT to protect gay people.

It’s a bit like a teacher noticing that Amy, Brian, and Charles are all being picked on in school and standing the three up in front of the class and saying, “Children, you have been picking on Amy, Brian and Charles. You are NOT allowed to pick on Amy or Brian.”

Yeah, that’s good for Amy and Brian, but Charles is going home with a black eye.

Chris McCoy
September 16th, 2009 | LINK

Désirée said:

If someone doesn’t want to hire me because I’m lesbian, trans, white,atheist, libertarian, red headed, too fat, too thin, left handed, Catholic or any other non-merit based reason, they should be free to sabotage their own business that way.

I disagree with you here. People should not be free to say “I don’t like you, you’re fired.” We are adults, not school yard bullies, and employment shouldn’t be a popularity contest.

Of course, they should be called out it as well and consumers shou8ld be free to choose whether or not they wish to do business with such a company.

As for your explanation that public outrage is enough to bring down companies who unfairly discriminate – do you know the employment policies of every company you do business with?

Do you know the employment history of the farmer that grows the tomatoes you bought at the grocery store? How about the company that supplied the rubber for the tires on your vehicle? What about the transportation company that delivered the furniture to your home?

We can’t know everything about every company in the country – for that reason, we need equal opportunity employment laws.

Vancity
September 16th, 2009 | LINK

“Matt
“September 16th, 2009 | LINK

“So in theory, Desiree, you’d be fine if a gay-owned business decided to fire all of its straight employees because they were straight?”

A case could be made that the majority of gay-owned and straight-owned businesses would not want to fire an employee on the basis of sexual orientation, simply because doing so would depress the productivity of the company.

That said, there are some gay bars that have a policy against admitting straights as *customers*. Should these establishments be forced to hire straights as bartenders?

Timothy Kincaid
September 16th, 2009 | LINK

Vancity,

Ironically, in states with non-discrimination policies, gay bars cannot refuse admission to straights nor refuse to hire them as bartenders.

In West Hollywood, for example, you can’t go to a gay bar without meeting straight patrons, some of whom are regulars. And a large number of the bartenders are straight (the smart ones keep it a secret, the tips are better if you flirt with the customer).

And really, would it benefit the Abbey to deny admission to Elizabeth Taylor or Britney Spears? After all, on those rare days when Liz can get out and about, that’s about the only place she goes.

paul j stein
September 17th, 2009 | LINK

I live in OHIO, Have a same sex partner, with 3 kids. He worked for a LARGE “HOME FURNISHINGS COMPANY” (BLANK&BLANK HOME FURNISHINGS) GAY OWNED. He was discriminated and harassed by a STRAIGHT co-worker for 6 months. At the time he was STRAIGHT, dating women,paying his child support, doing the redneck bar on weekends. The company in effect did NOTHING to penalize the harasser, laid my spouse off, screwed him out of a job he loved. They ignored all complaints to his manager, and complaints from other employees about this harasser. IN OHIO YOU CAN GET YOUR ASS CANNED FOR ANYTHING AND YOU ARE SCREWED. END OF STORY. He was assumed straight at the time. Now he would have a better shot at compensation if this law passes since he’s now living as a PROUD GAY MAN!

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