But now the Kasich administration is taking it a step further than even Ohio’s Legislature had intended.
Kasich’s transportation department has recently touted its plans to raise a few extra bucks for road construction by selling advertising rights in the state’s rest areas. The guidelines for potential bidders contain a rather curious provision:
Contractor shall not advertise contraceptive products or services, or services related to abortion, euthanasia or counseling with regard to those issues or contain expressions of opinion for or against any of the aforementioned materials.
The prohibition is contained within a list of other taboo subjects for advertising: alcohol, tobacco, pornography or prostitution, political causes and anything that promotes discrimination against protected groups.
Here’s the thing: Since 2003, Ohio Law already limits the type of advertising permitted at Ohio’s rest stops.
Ohio Revised Code 5515.08(B)
(1) It shall not be libelous or obscene and shall not promote any illegal product or service.
(2) It shall not promote illegal discrimination on the basis of the race, religion, national origin, handicap, age, or ancestry of any person.
(3) It shall not support or oppose any candidate for political office or any political cause, issue, or organization.
The Kasich administration’s ban on advertising alcohol, tobacco, guns, contraception, abortion, euthanasia (really???) and pornography was added proactively, even though the law doesn’t require it.
Prostitution and euthanasia are illegal. Alcohol and tobacco (maybe even guns) can be harmful. So perhaps one could argue that a nanny state government should pretend they don’t exist by not reminding us about them when we’re peeing. But contraception is not only legal, safe and healthy, it’s used by most sexually-active adults.
But you won’t learn about the advantages of NuvaRing or Mirena on Ohio’s highways, at least if John Kasich and Jerry Wray have anything to say about it.
Notice the ban does not extend to Viagra. Pretty much what you expect from an administration run by old white guys.