Republican Congressional Contender Once Sponsored Bill To Allow Biological Men Access To Public Facilities

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Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
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Republican Ohio state legislator and U.S. House candidate Michael Rulli previously sponsored a bill that broadly prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

The Ohio Fairness Act, which was re-introduced in 2021, prohibits barring the use of “public accommodations” based on gender identity, including, “any other place of public accommodation or amusement of which the accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges are available to the public.”

The bill died in the state Senate’s Government Oversight and Reform Committee.

The bill has been applauded by LGBT organizations across the state, including national organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the Ohio affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). (RELATED: Female High School Athletes Notch Big Legal Win Over Biological Men Competing In Their Sport)

“Our Republican champions, Senator Rulli and Representative [Brett] Hillyer, continue to lead the way in showing Ohio that LGBTQ+ equality is not a partisan issue,” LGBT group Equality Ohio wrote at the time.

Aaron Baer, president of Center for Christian Virtue, told the Caller he was concerned that the bill would allow biological men to use women’s restrooms, or compete on girl’s teams.

“The Ohio Fairness Act is one of the most dangerous bills in the country. Just like the Federal Equality Act, when you add ‘gender identity’ to the non-discrimination provisions in law, you force private businesses and public schools to allow any man who claims to identify as a woman to access women’s bathrooms and locker rooms,” Baer said. “It would even force domestic violence shelters to allow men to bathe and bunk with women. It’s truly extreme.”

A 2019 version of the bill mentions domestic violence shelters as examples of places that would not be allowed to discriminate on the basis of “gender identity.”

“Sen. Michael Rulli has been a proven conservative leader in Ohio,” the Rulli campaign told the Caller in a statement. “As a state senator, Rulli has cosponsored legislation to enact ‘constitutional carry,’ keep biological males out of women’s sports, and urge a continued investment in natural gas infrastructure.”

“These baseless attacks are an obvious attempt by our opponent to discredit Sen. Rulli’s conservative record.”