The first day of his job as Ohio's new governor, Republican Mike DeWine signed an executive order banning discrimination against LGBTQ state workers.
Even though it's highly unusual for a Republican politician to take action against anti-LGBTQ bias, DeWine was continuing the tradition of his GOP predecessors, John Kasich and Rick Snyder; both governors signed the same executive order, with DeWine extending it once he took office on Monday.
The executive order is especially imperative for Ohio — the state is one of 31 that does not have comprehensive work protections for LGBTQ people, meaning employees can legally be fired simply for being queer. While DeWine's order only directly affects Ohio's approximately 51,000 state workers, many see it as a step in the direction of full statewide — and potentially nationwide — protections.
“Discrimination against LGBTQ people is a real and urgent problem impacting millions of Americans everyday," Freedom for All Americans CEO Masen Davis said in as statement. "It’s clear elected officials from both parties are hearing their constituents loud and clear as they take action to protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination. As LGBTQ nondiscrimination legislation advances in states like Virginia and New York, we know momentum is on our side to secure full equality for all LGBTQ Americans - and soon.”