All this time, we were thinking Columbus, Ohio was a big advocate for the LGBT community but now Amazon is coming along, making us take a good hard look at ourselves and the state we live in and ask, “Are we gay enough for their second HQ location?”
A group of gay rights advocates held a demonstration today to pressure Amazon into choosing a location for HQ2 that in inclusive of everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“No Gay? No Way!” is the name of the campaign.
Amazon has long been a supporter of gay rights and has even had a homosexual employee group called GLAmazon since 2005. They were also among the first big companies to depict gay couples in their ads.
There are 20 finalists for HQ2 and according to IndyStar.com, we are one of nine that does not have laws that specifically protect the LGBT community.
As it stands now, Ohio’s civil rights code only bans discrimination based on race, color, sex, disability, age, religion, or national origin. However, there is a bill in queue that would throw sexual orientation and gender identity into the mix. There are cities in Ohio, including Columbus, that ban LGBT discrimination but House Bill 160 would establish the ban statewide.
A proponent testimony (second) hearing was held yesterday which is the furtherest this type of legislation has gone in nearly a decade. The next moves of this bill are to be determined by Representative Louis Blessing, Chairman of the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee, reports 10TV.
Do you think the outcome of HB160 will have an effect on Amazon’s decision?
The other eight cities without anti-gay discrimination laws are Indianapolis, Austin, Dallas, Nashville, Atlanta, Miami, Raleigh, and the D.C. suburbs of northern Virginia.