Commentary

07.22.14

More LGBT Rights Granted – NO Religious Exemptions

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As of July 21, businesses that contract with the federal government are now prohibited from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  This is the first time in our nation’s history that these protections have been put in place.

More importantly, despite calls from religiously affiliated organizations to exempt them from this order, President Obama did not bend to their demands. The national ACLU contributed to this decision by delivering over 81,600 petition signatures from across the country showing support for taxpayer funds not being used for discrimination.

It is important to note that this is only for federal contractors. LGBT workers who are not employed by these federally contracted businesses still remain vulnerable to discrimination in Ohio.

While we should celebrate this victory, our state still has a ways to go. Legislation that would protect workers in Ohio as well as prevent discrimination in housing is pending, stalled in committees. Politicians need pressure from voters in order to finally get these bills moving. You can sign Ohio’s petition to support SB 125 and HB 163 at our coalition partner’s website, Equality Ohio.

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