- April 25, 2014
Post submitted by Alex Totten, HRC regional field organizer.
I landed in Ohio three weeks ago, and the feel here is vastly different than in my home in Indiana. With two pro-LBGT campaigns, Why Marriage Matters Ohio and Equality Ohio, already working in the state to secure freedoms for LGBT people, the sprint here has already begun.
Even though Ohio has a long and storied history of political engagement, we are still not protected from discrimination.
Ohio, along with 29 other states, does not have equal protections laws in place for its LGBT citizens. It’s still completely legal here for people to be fired for being gay or trans*. Now, more than ever, we need to work towards a more accepting and safe environment for our LBGT family and friends.
Alongside Equality Ohio and Why Marriage Matters Ohio, I’m working to activate the central Ohio area. Representative Tiberi (OH-12) and Representative Stivers (Oh-15) represent large areas of the Columbus Metropolitan area and the surrounding rural communities and neither of them has yet come out in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). With such a diverse community, it’s time for these legislators hear from their constituents and protect them from discrimination.
So that’s what we must do.
I’m working to get thousands of voices heard, thousands of stories told to reach out to these legislators and change their hearts and minds. There are so many people who are affected by a lack of ENDA and their stories matter. It takes an amazing amount of outreach to change a mind, but it’s something that we’ve done before and it’s something we can do again.
Phone banks, where we reach out to supporters and ask them to get their voices heard, and postcard canvasses, where we talk to supporters and ask them to fill out a postcard for their legislators, have already started here in central Ohio. With these actions, I know that we can make Ohio a safer place for ourselves and our LGBT friends and families. So let’s step forward, Ohio, and protect ourselves and others.