Ohio Wesleyan University has joined Ohio Business Competes, a nonpartisan coalition of businesses committed to “achieving nondiscrimination policies at the state level in order to attract the best talent, to increase business-to-business and business-to-consumer relationships, and to grow Ohio’s economy.”

According to the coalition: “There are 21 states where consumers and employees are protected from being denied jobs, housing, and services based upon perceived sexual orientation/gender identity — Ohio is not one of these states. Discriminatory laws can drive away the top talent Ohio needs to fill 21st century jobs.”

Ohio Wesleyan President Rock Jones said the coalition’s effort to promote equality is a perfect fit with the university’s long-standing policy of non-discrimination and acceptance.

“I am proud that Ohio Wesleyan is among the first colleges and universities in the state to join the ‘Ohio Business Competes’ coalition,” said Jones. “Ohio Wesleyan supports the dignity and value of all people. No one should be discriminated against because of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identification, or any other identity. Ohio’s LGBTQ community deserves equal protection under the law.”

To date, more than 200 businesses have joined “Ohio Business Competes,” the coalition states, including “some of the state’s largest employers, such as Procter & Gamble Company, OhioHealth, American Electric Power, KeyBank and General Electric.”

To learn more about the coalition, including its economic-impact data, visit http://ohiobusinesscompetes.org.

Special to The Gazette