Rubando offers amendments on BG ordinance protecting women


Bowling Green Councilman Nick Rubando will be introducing additional amendments to the recently introduced Ordinance 9031 at Monday night’s meeting, he said in a news release.

This is the ordinance amending and adopting section 39.01 of the codified ordinances of the City of Bowling Green, concerning unlawful discrimination.

Originally introduced on Oct. 3, Ordinance 9031, adds a definition of the word “sex” in the city’s non-discrimination ordinance that expressly protects people’s reproductive healthcare decisions, gives protections to breastfeeding mothers, as well as pregnant individuals or those seeking to become pregnant.

In response to a recent letter issued to council by Ohio Right to Life, and challenges made by an attorney who spoke at the council’s lobby visitations, Rubando said he believes these amendments are essential to clarify the true purpose of this ordinance.

“The City of Bowling Green has always been a welcoming community. The aim of this ordinance has never been to punish people or organizations, but instead, to help protect women and people who could become pregnant,” he said in a statement. “There has been a lot of misinformation circulated against this Ordinance, we feel it is important to set the record straight.”

While the definition of “sex” would remain unchanged from Ordinance 9031, the language of the two additional amendments would read as such:

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed so as to mandate that any particular goods or services be provided. It is the purpose of this chapter that goods or services voluntarily provided be done so in a nondiscriminatory way.

This chapter shall not apply to any corporation, organization, or association so as to restrict its ability to organize its staff by employing only persons who support the mission of the entity.

Former Bowling Green City Attorney Mike Marsh offered his legal opinion of the newly amended language in a letter to council members. It was shared by Rubando in the news release.

“If the amendments are adopted, I believe our ordinance would not violate the freedom of association including negative association, that has been upheld by the US Supreme Court numerous times, and we would not be guilty of purporting to regulate the content of either speech or written communication,” Marsh said.

Ordinance 9031 will receive its third reading, and the amended language will be voted on Monday at the council meeting at 7 p.m. It is being held at Wood County Job and Family Services, 1928 E. Gypsy Lane Road, in the multi-purpose room.

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