As I noted yesterday, the Ohio Senate passed SB 5, a bill that would strictly limit collective bargaining for all public employees, give local officials the final word in arbitration and ban strikes under penalty of law, by a single vote, despite having a 23-10 partisan advantage in the chamber. Six Republicans voted no, and two of them had to be yanked off committees in order to smooth the bill’s passage. Those who voted yes, along with Gov. John Kasich, claimed that the state of the economy demanded that they get more control over the collective bargaining system.

The economic benefits of SB 5 can be proven by the fact that it includes this language (h/t Barbara Morrill):

Sec. 3101.01 of S.B. 5: … A marriage may only be entered into by one man and one woman. Any marriage between persons of the same sex is against the strong public policy of this state. Any marriage between persons of the same sex shall have no legal force or effect in this state and, if attempted to be entered into in this state, is void ab initio and shall not be recognized by this state. The recognition or extension by the state of the specific statutory benefits of a legal marriage to non-marital relationships between persons of the same sex or different sexes is against the strong public policy of this state. Any public act, record or judicial proceeding of this state, as defined in section 9.82 of the Revised Code, that extends the specific statutory benefits of legal marriage to non-marital relationships between persons of the same sex or different sexes is void.

The Ohio Legislature has already passed a gay marriage ban, AND a referendum put a gay marriage ban in the Constitution in the Bush-Kerry year of 2004. I guess Ohio Republicans would tell you this redundancy was needed because the State Supreme Court limited the impact on parenting and custody relationships. So that necessitated this language. In an anti-union bill. I guess Ohio Republicans are really anti-union!

That this has been completely overshadowed and had to be snuck into this kind of bill shows how different a landscape we’re in from 2004. Back then, Republicans would have openly paraded around with this kind of bigotry. Today they have to tuck it in secretly.

UPDATE: The Hotline is right that Scott Walker’s shenanigans in Wisconsin have taken the heat off John Kasich to some extent for this bill, but there are two additional points to that. One, Kasich is taking plenty of heat locally. And two, Kasich has the votes to do whatever he wants. Democrats in Ohio don’t have the opportunity to block the bill due to quorum requirements; there are enough Republicans in the chamber to make a quorum on the bill.

The bill could pass the Ohio House as soon as today. They really want to fast-track this thing. Democrats may be able to force the bill up to a vote of the people in a referendum, incidentally.