Governor Signs Order Banning Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity

Governor Strickland has signed an executive order that bans discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The order applies to state agencies, boards and commissions. But Strickland lamented that extending similar protections to the private sector runs the risk of being unconstitutional.

Broad wording in a gay marriage ban inserted into the Ohio constitution by voters in 2004 raises the risk.

Lynne Bowman is executive director of the gay rights group Equality Ohio. She says a bill is being prepared that would extend the anti-discrimination language to the private sector and wants the governor to support it.

Strickland says he would support it if passed by the state Legislature. (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)