Have you heard the good news? The Ohio Fairness Act (SB 11 – Antonio) received a committee hearing Wednesday! If passed, this bill would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
Supporters representing businesses, health care organizations, unions, educators, human rights groups, religious groups, local governments and other entities were among the more than 200 proponents providing testimony on Wednesday to support the bill. This fierce group includes Julia Applegate, Director of the Equitas Health Institute for LGBTQ Health Equity, and Carolyn Wilson, Training and Technical Assistance Program Assistant for the Buckeye Region Anti Violence Organization (BRAVO), a program of Equitas Health. In her testimony, Julia explicitly stated Equitas Health’s position – discrimination does not belong in our state’s laws. Carolyn shared that LGBTQ+ communities experience disproportionate violence, and are in great need of statewide protections to ensure their safety and access to vital services.
Julia and Carolyn proudly represented Equitas Health and our unequivocal support for the passage of Senate Bill 11 because it would provide essential civil rights protections to LGBTQ+ Ohioans by adding sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression to Ohio’s list of protected classes. Why? Because Equitas Health is an organization that serves and defends the rights of the LGBTQ+ community on a daily basis, and because we are a member of Ohio Business Competes—a nonpartisan coalition of more than 600 Ohio businesses committed to achieving statewide nondiscrimination policies.
Join us in calling for an end to discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations.