LGBTQ advocates are cautiously optimistic about the future of an executive order signed by Gov. John Kasich that bars discrimination against transgender state employees.
The order adds gender identity to the list of workplace protections – but it expires when Kasich leaves office on January 14. Ohio doesn’t currently prohibit housing or employment discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
Alana Jochum, executive director of Equality Ohio, says she was encouraged by a statement made by governor-elect Mike DeWine on the campaign trail that he supports the rights of gay couples to adopt. She's hopeful he will continue the new anti-discrimination order.
“We know that his team is evaluating it and hope that he will continue this common-sense protection for the best and brightest talent to be able to bring their full selves to work for our Ohio state government,” Jochum says.
Equality Ohio had given DeWine an “F” rating on its election scorecard for several reasons, including his support of the state’s same-sex marriage ban while attorney general.
DeWine and Kasich’s health department director were sued in 2013 over the state’s policy against listing same-sex spouses on death certificates, which ultimately led to the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in 2015.
A spokesperson for DeWine says he’s reviewing Kasich's executive orders and will make decisions on them after his inauguration.