The capital, however, is actually the third city in Ohio to outlaw conversion therapy in the past two years. Cincinnati became the first city in the U.S. to prohibit “pray the gay away” clinics back in 2015. Toledo followed suit in February.
The decision by the Columbus City Council is the latest in a surprising wave of legislation passed in support of the LGBT community in Ohio, a state with a Republican governor and a GOP-controlled legislature. The Buckeye State could become just the second Red State in the nation to pass nondiscrimination protections to prohibit bias in housing and employment against LGBT people. As Arkansas, Tennessee, andTexasmove to the extreme right on LGBT issues, Ohio offers a tiny glimmer of hope from the heartland.
Rep. Nickie Antonio, the state’s first openly gay legislator, introduced the nondiscrimination bill last Thursday, andGov. John Kasichsignaled that he could be persuaded to back it.
“I don’t want anybody to be discriminated against because they happen to be gay,” Kasich said when approached by press last week. “I don’t favor discrimination in any way. I haven’t heard much about this but if it’s happening we have to deal with it.”
Ohio is currently one of 28 states in the nation where it is perfectly legal to be fired for being LGBT. But in recent years, cities across the state have moved to either pass affirming legislation or strengthen their existing statutes."