A bill which seeks to prohibit housing and workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity was introduced in the Ohio House and Senate on Friday.

The Equal Housing and Employment Act is sponsored in the Senate by Senators Frank LaRose, a Republican from Akron, and Michael Skindell, a Democrat from Lakewood. A companion bill in the Ohio House is sponsored by Representatives Ross McGregor, a Republican from Springfield, and Nickie Antonio, a Democrat from Lakewood. Antonio was first elected in 2010, making her the House's first openly lesbian member.

β€œThis bill provides for the simple universal right of all citizens to equal treatment under the law, based on the premise that all are created equal including those Ohio citizens who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender,” said Antonio in a statement. β€œI would like to believe that there is no amount of discrimination that is acceptable in America.”

A similar bill cleared the Ohio House in 2009 but stalled out in the Senate, which was under the leadership of then-President Bill M. Harris, an Ashland Republican who publicly questioned whether the bill's protections were needed.

In January, Senator Keith Faber, a Republican, took over the reins of the Senate.

A recent poll conducted by Goodwin Simon Strategic Research found that 79 percent of Ohio voters support such protections.