Just as predicted yesterday, Ohio's Democratic Governor Ted Strickland signed an executive order this morning protecting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender state employees from discrimination.
No one could be fired from or denied a state job on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity under an executive order Gov. Ted Strickland plans to sign today.
The order, which Strickland promised last fall if elected, is similar to a policy that had been in effect under former governors Richard F. Celeste and George V. Voinovich. The protection for sexual orientation was removed by Gov. Bob Taft in 1999.
Strickland said yesterday he thinks the order is necessary to help prevent workplace discrimination but that it also has symbolic value.
"It's important to do this to send a message about Ohio that we are a state that values all of its citizens," he said.
While I am, of course, all in favor of the gesture made by Ohio's Guv, I'm still left with the uneasy feeling that this is a piecemeal effort. We have to take any measures given to us like morsels thrown to pigeons and state employees are better than no employees. (Especially since the Republican Guv removed the protections that were already in place!)
But when do we get full protections across the board? When will it be illegal in every goddamn state in the Union for our people to be fired or denied jobs to start with? When will it not be okay for us to be thrown out of our homes or denied them from the beginning? When will intolerance and bigotry not be allowed in the "land of the free?"