COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On Thursday, March 21, 2019, Equitas Health joined Equality Ohio and Ohio Business Competes—a nonpartisan coalition of more than 600 Ohio businesses committed to achieving statewide nondiscrimination policies—for a press conference about the achieving an important mark of progress for LGBTQ Ohioans.
The Ohio Fairness Act, which Sen. Nickie Antonio reintroduced a few weeks ago with bipartisan support, would provide LGBTQ Ohioans with critical legal protections at the state level. Bill Hardy, Equitas Health President and CEO, released a staff statement on why this bill is so crucial, seen below.
"At Equitas Health, we believe that no one should be fired, evicted, or denied public accommodations because of who they are. Put simply, discrimination does not belong in our laws, but Ohio unfortunately remains one of 29 states to exclude members of the LGBTQ community from its nondiscrimination law. Equitas Health is working to change that as a proud member of Ohio Business Competes—a nonpartisan coalition of more than 600 Ohio businesses committed to achieving statewide nondiscrimination policies—and as an organization that serves the LGBTQ community on a daily basis.
On the local level, there are more than twenty Ohio cities and one county (Cuyahoga) that have inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances. And a couple of months ago, Governor DeWine issued an Executive Order that maintained nondiscrimination legal protections for LGBTQ state employees. These are incredibly important strides in progress, 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 (Senate Bill 11) would prohibit this sort of discrimination against all members of the LGBTQ community—a type of legal protection that does not currently exist at the state level.
The passage of this bill is imperative to help ensure that all Ohioans, including members of the LGBTQ community, live their lives free from discrimination in these important spaces. We urge Governor DeWine to publicly commit to signing Senate Bill 11 and to encourage the Ohio legislature to take action in getting this important legislation passed.
Equitas Health will continue to work with policymakers at the state, local, and federal level and with our partners like Equality Ohio and the Ohio Business Competes coalition to ensure that Ohio is a more equitable place for everyone who calls this great state home."
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