(Updated Dec. 21, 2016)
HB 476 was signed into law by Gov. Kasich on Dec. 19. The law prohibits Ohio from contracting with for-profit entities for supplies, equipment, or services, unless the contract declares that the company does not engage in discriminatory boycotts of Israel.
Find out more:
- Connect: Freedom to Boycott - Ohio coalition
- Share with your legislators!
- Legal memo of opposition - Freedom to Boycott Coalition (including Palestine Legal)
- Legal letter of opposition - Palestine Legal, Center for Constitutional Rights, National Lawyers Guild of Ohio
- Legal memo of opposition - ACLU of Ohio
- Legal memo of opposition - Bill of Rights Defense Committee/Defending Dissent Foundation
- Editorial: State shouldn't punish conscience, Columbus Dispatch, May 14, 2016
- Editorial: Punishment for speaking freely and critically about Israel, Akron Beacon Journal, May 20, 2016
- Editorial: Election, anti-boycott bills ill advised, Cincinnati Enquirer, May 24
- Bill Status: The Ohio House and Senate have passed HB 476.
- Read the bill: HB 476
These bills are the result of a campaign to suppress Palestine human rights activism in the U.S. Israel's interest in restricting this activism should not override our right to advocate for change.
The good news is that your right to engage in boycotts related to Israeli human rights abuses and to advocate for BDS is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. None of the bills and resolutions described here prohibit you from engaging in BDS activities.
Whatever your views on Israel and Palestine, these bills should be of concern because they threaten the rights of everyone in the U.S. to take collective action to address injustice. Moreover, we should all be alarmed that a foreign government, Israel, is lobbying U.S. politicians to restrict our rights.