Wednesday, May 13, 2009

HB 176 -- Equal Housing and Employment Act

I had some problem following up to my previous post about the introduction of the Equal Housing and Employment Act in Ohio, but I emailed Lynne at Equality Ohio for clarification.

The EHEA was introduced, and it is House Bill number 176:
To amend sections 9.03, 124.93, 125.111, 340.12, 511.03, 717.01, 1501.012, 1751.18, 2927.03, 3113.36, 3301.53, 3304.14, 3304.50, 3313.481, 3314.06, 3332.09, 3721.13, 3905.55, 4111.17, 4112.01, 4112.02, 4112.021, 4112.04, 4112.05, 4112.08, 4117.19, 4735.16, 4735.55, 4757.07, 4758.16, 4765.18, 5104.09, 5107.26, 5111.31, 5119.61, 5123.351, 5126.07, 5515.08, and 5709.832 of the Revised Code to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.
Equality Ohio and many wonderful people are up in Columbus today lobbying our state representatives to support HB176. There are at least three Tweet streams running today talking about their efforts -- Cameron Tolle of IMPACTCincinnati, Chris Geidner of Law Dork, 2.0, and Equality Ohio's Brand-Spanking New Twitter. Follow one or follow all. Cameron's has been very active so far, and he says he's been receiving very positive responses from the two Republican Representatives he's spoken to today.

Couldn't attend today? That's ok! Equality Ohio is asking you to Lobby from home tomorrow (a link will be available as soon as I get to computer that supports Facebook; link here). From the Facebook invite (transcribed from my mobile phone):
Call your legislator today and tell them why equal rights are important to you and your loved ones.

You can look up your representative's phone number by clicking here.

A conversation might sound like this:

"As your constituent and a supporter of Equality Ohio, I urge you to support the Equal Housing and Employment Act (EHEA). In many parts of Ohio, you can still be fired or denied housing just for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

Twenty states and almost all Fortune 500 companies already ban this kind of discrimination, putting Ohio at a disadvantage when competing for next generation companies and workers.

No one should have to worry about being fired or losing their home just because of wh they are, so I hope I can count on you to support EHEA."

And once you've called your legislators, be sure to ask you friends, family members and colleagues to take action too. Ohio state legislators need to hear from as many supporters of equality as possible.
Make sure you check back here and tell us that you called in or emailed! On that link above you can check in for all of your elected representatives -- from President to City Council.

I'll post more information as it comes available, as well as information about Lobby Day. I have one person saying they wish to guest blog about the day, and, now doubt, Law Dork 2.0 will have a recap (I swear I've talked about that guy more today than I've ever talked about any other blogger).

Let's make 2009 the year that we pass equal protections in the state of Ohio!

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