COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- This week, Sen. Nickie Antonio announced that she will reintroduce—with bipartisan support—the Ohio Fairness Act, which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexuality, gender identity, and gender expression in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The bill would expand Ohio's existing nondiscrimination law to cover three new protected classes, offering legal protections for members of the LGBTQ community that do not currently exist on a state level.
Ohio is currently one of 29 states to exclude members of the LGBTQ community from its nondiscrimination law. On a local level, however, twenty Ohio cities (and one entire county – Cuyahoga) have extended their nondiscrimination laws to cover members of the LGBTQ community. And just last month, Gov. DeWine issued an Executive Order that maintained nondiscrimination legal protections for LGBTQ state employees. These strides are important, but they are not enough. LGBTQ Ohioans still face incredible discrimination, particularly in some of the most important areas of people's lives: at their jobs, in their homes, and in spaces otherwise open to the public. The Ohio Fairness Act would prohibit this sort of discrimination for all members of the LGBTQ community in the state.
Equitas Health applauds Sen. Antonio for reintroducing such an important piece of legislation and thanks her for her relentless effort to get this bill passed.
This legislative session marks the fifth consecutive session – spanning 10 years – in which Sen. Antonio has introduced the Ohio Fairness Act. "We look forward to working with her to ensure that this is the last time she will need to reintroduce this bill. All Ohioans deserve to live free from discrimination and the Ohio Fairness Act will help make that reality more achievable. Equitas Health supports the Ohio Fairness Act in full and will work diligently with our community partners to ensure its passage," said Bill Hardy, President and CEO of Equitas Health.
ABOUT EQUITAS HEALTH:
Established in 1984, Equitas Health (formerly AIDS Resource Center Ohio), is a regional not-for-profit community-based healthcare system and federally qualified community health center look-alike. Its expanded mission has made it one of the nation's largest HIV/AIDS, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) healthcare organizations. With 17 offices in 11 cities, it serves more than 67,000 individuals in Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia each year through its diverse healthcare and social service delivery system focused around: primary and specialized medical care, community pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, HIV/STI prevention, advocacy, and community health initiatives. In 2019, the Buckeye Regional Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO) became a part of Equitas Health.
The Equitas Health Pharmacy & Prizm magazine operate as social enterprises for Equitas Health; 100% of profits are reinvested back into the organization's programs and services.
Laura Mesones, 614-987-5239
SOURCE Equitas Health