Meet Representative Nickie J. Antonio


Meet Representative Nickie J. Antonio

This month, we’re excited to highlight some amazing members of the LGBTQ community, who are proud to stand with Sherrod.

Nickie J. Antonio (she/her/hers) proudly serves as the State Representative for Ohio House District 13. First elected to this position in 2010, she had previously spent five years as a Lakewood City Council member.

A former special education teacher, adjunct professor and non-profit administrator of a women’s outpatient treatment program for alcohol and other drugs, she has dedicated her life to serving others and fighting for change. Learn more about her story:

I first ran for City Council in Lakewood in 2005. It was the year after the state had passed a referendum that said marriage was between a man and a woman. We had friends deciding to leave the state, appalled Ohio would pass such a hateful referendum.

My then-partner, now spouse, Jean Kosmac and I were volunteers on everything from our kids’ soccer team to the local arts community organization. When our kids were involved, we as their moms were involved.When the City Council seat became open, I decided it was a perfect way to register that people from the LGBTQ community contribute every day. Why shouldn’t we run for office? Why shouldn’t we be in leadership positions? I ran, I won, and five years later I ran for the State Representative position in House District 13.

One of the things I knew about Sherrod Brown was that long before there was marriage equality, he was speaking out, defending the rights of all members of the LGBTQ community. He is a progressive champion and certainly a champion for workers’ rights, women’s rights and equality for members of the LGBTQ community. I’ve always appreciated not only his stance, but his genuine support and work towards progressive equality.

Right now members of the LGBTQ community still don’t have full civil rights as individuals, as members of an affinity group. As long as that’s true, that means denial can happen on any level, whether it’s denial for a job, for living arrangements, for participating in the public sphere. I can’t think of a more critical time than now to have a champion in the Senate with the depth of knowledge Sherrod has for what we’re up against and what we face. He has the courage to champion full equality for all of us.

I’m speaking out a lot in the state of Ohio for the passage of a bill that would provide civil rights protections for the LGBTQ community. Sherrod is very supportive and has been a leader in introducing legislation at the federal level for the same kinds of protections.

The conversation around equality has recently been framed around making equal protections a reality because it’s an economically expedient thing for Ohio to do. That’s true, and I embrace that. But at the end of the day, it’s also just the right thing to do. Sherrod has always been clear that fighting for LGBTQ equality is the right thing to do.

And now more than ever, we need to stand with the senator who always fights for our right to fairness, dignity and equality.

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