In Ohio, Fiscal Conservatism Means Slamming The Gays

Jim Burroway

March 2nd, 2011

The Ohio Senate just passed a bill that Republican supporters claim is essential to balancing the state’s budget. The bill, which now goes on to the House, limits collective bargaining rights for unions of state and local employees, including police and firefighters. It also includes this indispensable and essential component for balancing the state’s budget:

Sec. 3101.01 of S.B. 5: … A marriage may only be entered into by one man and one woman. Any marriage between persons of the same sex is against the strong public policy of this state. Any marriage between persons of the same sex shall have no legal force or effect in this state and, if attempted to be entered into in this state, is void ab initio and shall not be recognized by this state. The recognition or extension by the state of the specific statutory benefits of a legal marriage to non-marital relationships between persons of the same sex or different sexes is against the strong public policy of this state. Any public act, record or judicial proceeding of this state, as defined in section 9.82 of the Revised Code, that extends the specific statutory benefits of legal marriage to non-marital relationships between persons of the same sex or different sexes is void.

Ohio already passed one of the nation’s most draconian constitutional amendments prohibiting marriage equality in 2004. This bill goes further by stripping LGBT workers (mostly of state universities and a handful of municipalities) of their domestic partnership benefits. It’s a good thing the Tea Party only cares about fiscal matters.

K in VA

March 3rd, 2011

What Ohio juristictions or state universities currently offer DP benefits?

Stefano A

March 3rd, 2011

Bowling Green State University (BGSU)
University of Cincinatti
University of Toledo
Miami University
Ohio University
The Ohio State University
Youngstown State University
Cleveland State University

In addition, this bill will impact:

the Columbus School District which offers same-sex domestic partner benefits.

All Franklin County employees who are offered domestic partner benefits.

All Columbus city workers which are offered domestic partner benefits.

And, all State employees, which are provided sick-leave and bereavement benefits.

Note: The original bill was over 688 pages. The amended bill, which is the one the Senate passed, is over 475 pages (the amendment itself alone is 99 pages), which makes it very difficult to determine exactly what all this will impact.

It should also be noted that in this bill a public employer is any state, county, township, or municipal body including any political sub-body and public contractor, and also affects any public hospital, day-care center, park and recreation agency, etc which is operated by a one of the above public employers.

Stefano A

March 3rd, 2011


Sen Tom Niehaus (R-New Richmond), fought the state sick-leave and bereavement policy. All of these have been challenged in court claiming Ohio’s constitutional amendment banned them, but those arguments were refuted by the Ohio Supreme Court. So, basically, banning these benefits in SB5 is a way to do a run-around the court decision stating there is nothing illegal about Ohio offering such benefits.

Neihaus is the same dude which removed the dissenting Republican from the committee who opposed SB5 in order to appoint a pro-SB5 Republican in order to game the system so he could get the passing committee vote.

Stefano A

March 3rd, 2011

Addendum 2:

BTW: I only listed the public employers I personally knew of. I’m rather sure that there are other counties and municipalities outside of Columbus, Franklin County, which offer similar benefits. For example, I’d be surprised if Dayton, Toledo and Cleveland don’t already offer such benefits, and it’s possible Cincinnati and some other medium-size cities do as well; but I don’t know for sure.

Stefano A

March 3rd, 2011

From a non-gay related aspect, this cry by republicans of it being an “indispensable and essential component for balancing the state’s budget” is dubious.

A Columbus Dispatch computer analysis showed that the state’s non-university payroll in calendar year 2010 totaled was 1.7 percent less than paid in 2009, in 2010 the total was $105 million less than in 2008, a 3.2 percent reduction, according to analysis of information released by the Ohio Department of Administrative Services in response to a public-records request.

Overtime pay (down 1.4 percent), sick leave (down 7.1 percent), vacation (down 1.8 percent) and comp time (down 13.4 percent) all fell last year.

Blake Alverson

March 3rd, 2011

My first instinct is boycott Ohio. Which is a shame because I love roller coasters. This action by the legislature seems particularly extreme. It reminds me of when Exxon bought Mobile. What other states have done similar actions? Is this unprecedented?


Stefano A

March 3rd, 2011

Kings Island and Cedar Point are private not public employers and I don’t know what their employment policies are as far as benefits goes.

The union-busting SB5 bill, I think, only regulates union collective-bargaining with public employers.

So while the sentiment is appreciated, I’m not sure a boycott would really have much of an impact except to deprive your business from private enterprises, and only indirectly impact Ohio government via sales tax.

Blake Alverson

March 3rd, 2011

I don’t care to pay taxes of any sort to a state that takes a step backwards by removing benefits. I will be happy to visit Cedar Fair properties in other states.


March 3rd, 2011

When did Ohio become the backwards state of the north?

I wonder if the Gay Games in 2014 should be reassigned from Cleveland to a different locale as a result of this idiocy…..?

Stefano A

March 3rd, 2011

Oh, since at least the early 1900’s TonyJazz, and it only keeps getting worse. Ohio affords absolutely no GLBT protections for anything, not even anti-bully legislation.

Paul J. Stein

March 3rd, 2011

Ohio is loosing a lot of talent due to the “head up their ass Republicans” What needs to happen is a boycott by gay emergency, hospital, health care workers. To refuse to do any emergency procedures unless the are pro-Ga/Lesbian rights. That might get some response as to what Gas/Lesbian OHIOANS contribute. OHIOAN since 1959.


March 4th, 2011

The final bill‘s language appears not to include this awful section. I can’t find reference to 3101.01 in this version of the bill.

(Very) small blessings, I guess.

Stefano A

March 4th, 2011

GDad, that’s because what you have linked to is the 99-page amendment.

That document is not a consolidated version of the bill.

The original bill text is Sub. S. B. No. 5.

The amendment is Am. Sub. S. B. No. 5
[AM = Amendment]

Stefano A

March 4th, 2011

I don’t know if there is a consolidated version that is a “Sub” [Submitted] something.

Stefano A

March 8th, 2011


I may owe you an apology.

I was checking back on the senate site to see if a consolidated version of the bill was available — it’s not.

So, to be candid, I’m not sure if what you linked to is actually the full text of the bill that was passed (dumping section 3101 and several other sections) or if, as I originally thought, it’s just the amendments to the original language that were passed.

The web site’s not really clear on that.

Stefano A

March 20th, 2011

I thought I’d follow up on whether or not Section 3101 is, indeed, included in the current rendition of SB5.

According to an article published in the Columbus Dispatch today [20 March], as GDad stated Section 3101 was removed from the bill.

The Columbus Dispatch reported:

•Domestic partner benefits eliminated

According to a Feb. 21 e-mail from Equality Ohio, urging opposition to SB 5, the bill “contains language that could impact current and future domestic partner benefits for LGBT employees.” There is nothing, however, in SB 5 that specifically targets the LGBT community. Confusion arose when an earlier version of the bill was under consideration in the Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee. That version restated the existing Ohio marriage law, including the state’s policy against extending benefits in same-sex relationships. The latest version of SB 5, as it was passed in the Senate, removed any reference to Ohio’s marriage law. [emphasis added] Equality Ohio remains opposed to the bill because collective bargaining is often the only way members of the LGBT community can receive domestic partner benefits.

Stefano A

March 20th, 2011


My mistake. It wasn’t the Columbus Dispatch that confirmed the removal of Section 3101. The article actually was published by The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

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