Outlook Ohio News: Stonewall Columbus Pride Parade Now Requires Anti-Discrimination Policy to Participate

New Addition to Pride 2017

The Stonewall Columbus Pride Parade has added a new requirement to their application process for local businesses and organizations seeking to participate: proof of an employment anti-discrimination policy that protects LGBTQ people.

Organizers say the requirement was established as a means of education and awareness surrounding the issue of LGBTQ employment discrimination.

“This is an important signal to all of our community that Stonewall Columbus will not stand for the hatred or intolerance of our LGBTQ family,” said Riana Brewer, Stonewall Columbus Outreach Coordinator and Pride Parade Organizer.

Only 16 cities in Ohio have ordinances in place prohibiting private employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Columbus is one of those cities and this new addition is simply an extension of what this city already requires of these businesses.

“The reality is that we get phone calls on a monthly basis from people who have been fired from their jobs for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender,” said Brewer. “Since there is no state or federal protection in place for our community, it is often left up to businesses to explicitly add sexual orientation and gender identity to their list of protected classes.”

As a result, businesses and organizations that hire paid employees are now required to sign a pledge acknowledging that they have said policy before they will be accepted into the Parade. Businesses or organizations that may not yet have or may be in the process of developing such a policy can alternatively pledge to enact one by Pride 2018.

Organizers hope that this new regulation will inspire businesses that may not already have this policy in place to create one. Stonewall Columbus says that it’s ready and able to help businesses establish this policy, as they have done with many others.

“One of the goals of the Pride Parade is to celebrate people, businesses, and organizations in Columbus who actively support LGBTQ people,” said Karla Rothan, Executive Director of Stonewall Columbus. “With this new policy, we’re hoping not only to continue that celebration but also to make Columbus a safer place for our community.”

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