Honda announced it is joining Ohio Business competes,which also includes firms like Whirlpool Corporation, American Electric Power, Bob Evans and Proctor & Gamble that support statewide LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination policy. Bill Lackey/Staff

Honda joins business coalition

Honda recently became the first auto manufacturer in Ohio to join a coalition of businesses and other entities that supports statewide LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination policy.

READ MORE: Historic Springfield manufacturer to ramp up hiring

Honda announced it is joining Ohio Business Competes,which also includes firms like Whirlpool Corporation, American Electric Power, Bob Evans and Proctor & Gamble. The company employs about 15,000 Ohio workers, including Clark and Champaign Counties. That coalition also includes universities, law firms and small and medium-sized businesses.

“Honda joined Ohio Business Competes because its mission to achieve equality and non-discrimination in Ohio aligns with our fundamental belief in respect for the individual,” said Yvette Hunsicker, assistant vice president of Honda North America’s Office of Inclusion and Diversity in a news release. “Just as we have taken steps to focus on inclusion in our workplace, we believe that joining Ohio Business Competes will improve equality in our community and across the state of Ohio.”

READ MORE: They started their Springfield potato chip company with a deep fryer Christmas present. Here’s how they’ve grown.

Honda operates three auto plants in the state, an engine plant and a transmission plant, along with a major R&D Center.

According to the organization’s website, there are 21 states with policies to protect employees from being denied jobs based on issues of perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Ohio is not included on that list. The coalition argues discriminatory laws can drive away talented workers needed to fill high-tech career fields.

“Treating LGBT people fairly and welcoming them warmly costs nothing and would change our state’s brand for the better, while creating quantifiable, long-term economic benefits,” the coalition states on its website.

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