Coalition Delivers Message to Ohio General Assembly: “Don’t Pass Unconstitutional Homosexual Special Rights Bill”

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
May 14, 2008

Contact:

David Miller, Vice President for Public Policy (513) 733-5775
Barry Sheets, Director of Governmental Affairs (614) 920-1490

Coalition Delivers Message to Ohio General Assembly:
“Don’t Pass Unconstitutional Homosexual Special Rights Bill”

Columbus, OH – On the day when homosexual activists and their allies are descending on the state’s capitol to lobby for their top legislative project, a coalition of pro-family groups today delivered their own message to the Ohio General Assembly:  “Don’t pass this over-reaching and unconstitutional homosexual special rights bill.”

The joint letter and policy paper outline the concerns that the pending legislation would take away constitutional rights of businesses and citizens of Ohio, thereby infringing on their ability to thrive and exercise freedoms previously granted to them under the constitution.

Senate Bill 305, which is currently before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Civil Justice, creates a new civil rights class based on someone’s “sexual orientation” and adds it to virtually every anti-discrimination law in Ohio’s Revised Code, making it one of the nation’s most expansive and far-reaching laws of its kind.

One of the groups that testified yesterday against the bill, Citizens for Community Values (CCV), says all the hype behind the bill is bogus. “The claims that passage of this bill somehow advances civil rights and is good for business in Ohio are quite different than what has actually been experienced in other places where laws like this exist,” said David Miller, CCV’s Vice President for Public Policy. “Civil and constitutional rights are actually infringed upon, not expanded, and businesses are hurt when we attempt to use someone’s personal sexual expression as a basis for our laws.”

Miller and other opponents of the bill speaking before the Senate Committee identified numerous problems with adding sexual expression as a new civil rights class. Among the examples noted were businesses and individuals who have been heavily penalized for attempting to establish workplace standards for behavior or for exercising the tenets of their religious faith.

Other specific issues raised came directly from court cases pointing out that “sexual orientation” does not qualify someone for civil rights class status.

“Lawmakers shouldn’t be bullied by guilt and intimidation antics of homosexual activists,” says Barry Sheets, Director of Governmental Affairs for CCV. “Failure to pass this bill is not granting permission to discriminate, as its proponents claim. To the contrary, passage of this bill would be discrimination against employers, property owners, and the majority of Ohioans, stripping them of their basic constitutional right to make decisions based on their deeply held religious convictions and common sense.”