On Thursday, April 7, the following note was shared with our corporate partners who support Stonewall’s work all year long. These partners have been steadfast in helping us present programming and services in support of the LGBTQ+ community here in Columbus and across central Ohio.
Dear Partners –
As you may have seen, a version of Florida’s “don’t say gay” bill has been introduced in the Ohio State House of Representatives on Monday—HB 616. While the bill has not yet moved forward with a committee assignment, I cannot understate the danger that it poses to our LGBTQ+ community. This will impact our friends, colleagues, employees, and families and seeks to further isolate and divide our communities.
- What’s in Ohio House Bill 616, the divisive concept bill that includes sexual orientation?
- Stonewall Columbus believes HB 616 could be detrimental for job recruitment in Ohio
- Columbus educators, activists slam Florida ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law as Ohio faces a similar one
- House Republicans introduce Ohio version of the so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill
- ‘Don’t say gay:’ Bill similar to Florida’s introduced in Ohio
As we’ve seen in Florida, many are looking to the business community to uphold their values of inclusivity by taking a stand against these types of bills (and, in the case of Disney, calling out contradictory statements and values). Columbus Alive has come out with an article that highlights the Ohio developments and is planning to track corporate responses to the bill from those companies that have been supporters of Columbus Pride.
As the community, and Stonewall, develops strategies for working to bring attention to this demoralizing potential bill we hope that our partners will do the critical work of supporting the LGBTQ+ community now when the attack is blatant and directly in our backyard. We hope our corporate partners will leverage whatever power they have in these spaces of politics to help the communities which they serve and employee.