Joseph and I have been ping ponging on this story for awhile now.   Back in August, Governor John Kasich was asked this question in a Columbus Dispatch questionnaire:

11. Would you renew the 2007 executive order that no one can be fired from or denied a state job on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity?

Kasich: Yes.

Today, on what is known in political media circles as “taking out the trash day,” with virtually no fanfare at all, Governor Kasich signed an executive order dealing with employment discrimination by the State.

The good news is that the executive order explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.  But it does not explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.  Kasich’s order does add a new category for protection: genetic information.  This, arguably, would seem to include transgendered people.  However, the executive order also says that the term “genetic information” is defined under the executive order “as those terms are defined in federal law, Ohio law, and previous executive orders.

One problem.  Neither federal or Ohio law includes “genetic information” as a term in their non-discrimination codes to include transgender.  The only Executive Order to protect transgendered employees was Strickland’s, but he used to the term “transgendered,” not genetic information.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008 defines “genetic information” only as:

Title II, Section 201(4)(A) In general.–The term “genetic information” means, with respect to any individual, information about–

(i) such individual’s genetic tests,

(ii) the genetic tests of family members of such individual, and

(iii) the manifestation of a disease or disorder in family members of such individual.

(B) Inclusion of genetic services and participation in genetic research.–Such term includes, with respect to any individual, any request for, or receipt of, genetic services, or participation in clinical research which includes genetic services, by such individual or any family member of such individual.

(C) Exclusions.–The term “genetic information” shall not include information about the sex or age of any individual.

In other words, federal law specifically excludes transgenderism from being covered by federal anti-genetic information discrimination laws. 

Where does that leave us?  It means that under Governor Kasich’s Executive Order a person with genetically linked heart disease or baldness is protected from discrimination while a transgendered person is not.

Governor John Kasich lied and has broken a promise to the people of Ohio in only his second week in office.