OH AG joins anti LGBT+ lawsuit

Ethan Nichols, Guest Writer

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost joined 19 Republican state attorney generals in a lawsuit attempting to overturn the Biden administration’s LGBT+ anti-discrimination protections. 

The lawsuit challenges the U.S. Department of Education’s decision that Title IX rules preclude discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

The lawsuit also challenges Supreme Court decision Bostock v. Clayton County, which held that employers could not legally fire employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity. 

The Department of Education said it could investigate schools who do not allow students to join athletic teams or use bathrooms which correspond with their gender identity. 

Schools must also call upon students and teachers to use pronouns that correspond to students’ gender identity,  according to the Department of Education, or face investigation.

The discrimination lawsuit also challenges guidance from Janet Dhillon, chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Citing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the guidance tells employers that they cannot discriminate against gay or transgender individuals.

The lawsuit argues that the U.S. Department of Education and the EEOC both interpret anti-discrimination laws too broadly.

“The guidance purports to resolve highly controversial and localized issues such as whether employers and schools may maintain sex-separated showers and locker rooms, whether schools must allow … transgender females to compete on female athletic teams and whether individuals may be compelled to use another person’s preferred pronouns,” the lawsuit states.

Equality Ohio, an LGBT+ advocacy organization, criticized Yost’s role in the lawsuit. 

“As Ohio pushes for economic recovery and to keep residents safe in an historic pandemic, Attorney General Yost is deciding to spend our precious government resources fighting for the right to discriminate,” Maria Bruno, Equality Ohio’s public policy director, said. 

“AG Yost’s decision to participate in this misguided lawsuit against LGBT people pushes Ohio down the wrong path,” she said. 

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Ohio, also criticized Yost’s role in the lawsuit.

“This is nothing more than another awful, mean-spirited attack on Ohio kids and families, not to mention a huge waste of taxpayer money. Politicians running our state are showing us exactly who they really are. Ohio deserves better.”

Yost defended the lawsuit against critics, stating that it was not political in nature.

“This case is not about the wisdom of the administration’s policy. It is about power. Rule by administrative overreach may seem convenient, but tossing the process our Constitution requires will inevitably trample the liberties of our most vulnerable,” Yost said. 

He continued, “I will always defend the rights of our citizens to be a part of the legislative process and work to stop the abuses of a recalcitrant administrative state determined to bypass them.”