Ohio’s new Republican governor, Mike DeWine, issued an executive order banning discrimination against LGBTQ people moments after being sworn into office.
DeWine, who was sworn in at his home at midnight, quickly released Executive Order 2019-05D. The order bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity among other classes.
Outgoing governor and former Republican presidential candidate, John Kasich, updated his nondiscrimination policy last month. When he entered office, he removed protections for transgender people; the new policy specifically includes them.
Local activists were unsure whether DeWine would keep the new protections or not.
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“It shall be the policy of my administration to prohibit unlawful and inappropriate discriminatory employment practices in state government and to ensure that all state government employees have employment opportunities based upon their talent, skill, dedication, merit and fitness for the job,” DeWine’s order states.
The order says it is a “matter of human decency” that workers “be treated with appropriate respect and civility.”
“By issuing this executive order protecting state employees, including LGBTQ state employees, from discrimination, Governor DeWine made a strong statement on his first day that he will be a governor for all Ohioans,” Equality Ohio Executive Director Alana Jochum said.
“Ohio is still playing catch-up when it comes to welcoming LGBTQ people––and we are grateful that Governor DeWine, like Governor Kasich before him, recognizes the need for these common-sense protections in Ohio.”
The state does not have a law protecting LGBTQ people from employment discrimination in the private sector. DeWine’s order only applies to state employees.