A Prelude to Pride
June 20, 2014 by Lynne Bowman, Regional Field Director
Columbus Pride, it’s truly a wonderful sight. Pride flags adorn local businesses, and people are having conversations about LGBT issues. For those who haven’t seen the wave of rainbow-themed regalia washing over the town, the Columbus Pride Festival will be taking place this weekend in the Short North and Victorian Village. As the festival approaches we are preparing to take advantage of the influx of people to the city. Alongside Equality Ohio and Why Marriage Matters Ohio, the Americans for Workplace Opportunity Campaign is pushing to reach out to as many people in CD-12 and CD-15 as possible. With almost 500,000 people coming into Columbus from all around the state, we know that this is the prime time to get Central Ohio running towards equality. As it stands, Ohio is a state without anti-discrimination protections. Pride is a good indication that Ohio is ready for equality, with a physical showing of how many people in the Buckey State stand for LGBT equality.
Thursday, organizers and volunteers took to the streets for the first of many canvasses to speak with voters about the various issues that plague Ohio. For me, it’s Federal Non-discrimination, or the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. This week was an enormous step forward with President Obama signing an executive order requiring employment nondiscrimination protections of any federal contractor. This will impact millions of Americans, but it’s simply not enough. We need a strong federal law declaring all people should be judged in employment based on their performance, not their sexual orientation or gender identity.
On behalf of the Americans for Workplace Opportunity Campaign, I will be at the Columbus Pride Festival talking to participants about the need for federal employment protections. Find yourself at Columbus Pride? Come to the HRC tent to find out information about our work nationally and take steps to work towards equality, and come to Why Marriage Matters Ohio and Equality Ohio’s tents and see what all is happening locally in Central Ohio and around the state.
Not going to be at Pride? Don’t worry; we’re continuing to work to get ENDA passed even after Pride. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling my phone at (317) 340-8274. There is a lot of work to be done, but, as evidenced by President Obama’s executive order, the tides are shifting to our side. This is our year to end employment discrimination, but only if we all show up.
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