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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 28, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 52
Late to the party: Ohio Gov. John Kasich signs executive order protecting Trans state employees from workplace discrimination
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Late to the party: Ohio Gov. John Kasich signs executive order protecting Trans state employees from workplace discrimination

After two terms, restores protections to same level as his Democratic predecessor

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Ohio's Republican Gov. John Kasich signed Executive Order 2018-12K on December 20, adding protections for Transgender state employees to Ohio employment policies.

'This executive order explicitly prohibits discrimination in state employment on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and other protected bases such as race, color, religion, age, and disability,' Equality Ohio explained in a press release.

'Today's executive order builds on a previous order issued by Gov. Kasich, which had only protected lesbian, gay, and bisexual state employees. By adding gender identity and expression in his latest executive order today, Gov. Kasich showed leadership in ensuring that transgender and genderqueer Ohioans have the employment protections they deserve.'

While it's a fine thing that Kasich finally decided to protect Trans employees - after nearly eight years in office - the new executive order merely restores protections that had been in place under his predecessor, Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland.

In fact, Kasich rescinded protections for Transgender state employees when he assumed office in 2011, and only offered legal guarantees for sexual orientation.

During his eight-year stint in the US House of Representatives, Kasich opposed LGBT rights, like most other Republican congresspersons. Like them, he voted for DOMA in 1996 and supported a similar ban on same-sex marriages in Ohio.

In 2015, following the US Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which held that there is a fundamental right to same-sex marriage under the 14th Amendment, Kasich said that he was 'obviously disappointed' because he believed in 'traditional marriage.'

The only concession Kasich made to LGBT Ohioans was to admit that the Obergefell ruling was 'the law of the land and we'll abide by it.'

During the 2016 presidential campaign - in which he was an unsuccessful candidate - Kasich grudgingly admitted that if one of his own children were a Lesbian, he would accept her marriage to another woman.

'The court has ruled, and I said we'll accept it,' he said in a debate. 'And guess what, I just went to a wedding of a friend of mine who happens to be gay. Because somebody doesn't think the way I do doesn't mean that I can't care about them or can't love them. So if one of my daughters happened to be that, of course I would love them and I would accept them. Because you know what? That's what we're taught when we have strong faith.'

Kasich has been mentioned as a possible primary opponent for Donald Trump in 2020, if Trump chooses to run for reelection.

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