Cordray, Kucinich and Schiavoni spell out where they stand on nondiscrimination, ‘conversion therapy,’ hate crimes, gender markers and more.


By Bob Vitale

On Tuesday, May 8, Ohio voters will narrow a field of six Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates to one nominees from each party.

As part of our 2018 election coverage, Prizm sought out all of the major party candidates’ positions on issues of importance to LGBTQ Ohioans. We asked LGBTQ elected officials, organization leaders and policy experts for their input on questions and came up with 10:

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• If a bill reached your desk that would add sexual orientation and gender identity/expression to the laws that make discrimination illegal in Ohio, would you sign it?

• Do you support House Bill 160, the Ohio Fairness Act? 

• In 2011, Gov. John Kasich eliminated gender identity from an executive order barring discrimination in state government employment. Will you add gender identity back in?

• Ohio is one of three states that do not let transgender people correct the gender marker on their birth certificates. Will you work with the Ohio Department of Health to resolve this? 

• Do you support a hate-crimes law that includes gender identity and sexual orientation?

• Do you support a statewide ban on so-called “conversion therapy” for minors?

• Would you support or oppose any legislation to dictate the public restrooms used by transgender people in Ohio?

• Akron, Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton all ranked among the top cities on the Human Rights Campaign’s most recent Municipal Equality Index survey of local policies toward LGBTQ people. In the HRC’s State Equality Index, Ohio ranked among the lowest states. How do we make all of Ohio as welcoming and inclusive as its big cities?

• When did you publicly announce your support for marriage equality?

 • Tell us about some of the actions you have taken as a public official or elected office-holder to support and advance equality for LGBTQ people.

The three leading Democratic candidates—Richard Cordray, Dennis Kucinich and Joe Schiavoni—responded. Republican Mary Taylor’s campaign declined an interview request. Republican Mike DeWine’s campaign didn’t respond. Democrat William O’Neill didn’t return answers to our questions.

Cordray, Kucinich and Schiavoni all have long records of support for LGBTQ equality in the workplace and beyond. As you’ll see in our reports, each supports inclusion of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in Ohio’s nondiscrimination laws. Each supports the Ohio Fairness Act, introduced by state Rep. Nickie Antonio, as the way to do so.

All three candidates oppose the dangerous and discredited practice of “conversion therapy” on LGBTQ children.

Cordray, Kucinich and Schiavoni all vow to end an Ohio Department of Health policy against allowing transgender people to change the gender marker on their birth certificates. Each vows to fight any attempt in the Ohio General Assembly to dictate the restrooms used by transgender people.

Here are Richard Cordray’s positions on issues facing LGBTQ Ohioans.

Here are Dennis Kucinich’s answers on issues facing LGBTQ Ohioans.

Here are Joe Schiavoni’s answers on issues facing LGBTQ Ohioans.

If we hear from DeWine, O’Neill or Taylor, we will post their answers as well.

The polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day, and early voting is now under way across Ohio. Visit for information about early voting options and polling places.


Bob Vitale
A Toledo native and graduate of Toledo Public Schools, Bob has worked as a local government and politics reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, as a Washington correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and as editor-in-chief for Outlook Ohio. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from Ball State University and a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.