Strickland bans discrimination on basis of sexual orientation
By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS
Associated Press Writer
COLUMBUS, May 16, 2007 (AP): Gov. Ted Strickland signed an executive order that bans discrimination in state employment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Strickland, a Democrat, wants to restore the specific protection removed by Gov. Bob Taft, a Republican, in August 1999 several months into Taft’s first term.
“The governor made the determination that this is necessary to ensure state employees are judged on work performance and not discriminated against for any reason in state offices,” said Strickland spokesman Keith Dailey.
Gov. Richard Celeste, a Democrat, first issued an order including the category of sexual orientation from a policy banning employment bias in Ohio government. It was kept on the books unchanged by Republican Gov. George Voinovich.
Under Taft, the order cited categories protected by state or federal law, including military veteran status, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, and sex.
It also included “groups and classifications of persons that could be subject to discrimination but are not expressly protected by state or federal law.''
Taft argued at the time this language made the anti-discrimination order stronger than it had been.
Gender identity could include anyone perceived as having characteristics associated with the opposite gender, including transsexuals.
The goal is to prevent discrimination against employees or those seeking a state job who are perceived by a superior as not acting the way someone of that gender is supposed to act, Dailey said.
On the Net: Gov. Ted Strickland: http://governor.ohio.gov/