I was downtown for Dayton’s Pride celebration and it was quite well attended and well organized. The parade, while not the size of a huge metro area, was quite nice. And all this in a region still reeling from a series of tornadoes less than a week ago.
There were many corporate folks as well, from local brands like Warped Wing to national chains like Walgreen’s, Speedway, and Lexis Nexis. There were also a few healthcare orgs – CareSource, Children’s Hospital, Equitas Health providing on site HIV testing, and coalitions for LGBTQI elder care. Even the city had a bus involved in the parade.
Not every organization had a big presence there…but they bothered to show up.
Who wasn’t there? Two of the top three largest employers in town: Premier Health and Kettering Health Network. These two healthcare organizations have pretty much divvied up (or bought up) all the hospitals and many clinics in the region.
[Edit 5 June: It was brought to my attention that Premier Health was a sponsor; the information on the Sponsors page does not list Premier Health, but they are listed on the main Pride page. While one person contacted me to say they tried to get volunteers for a booth, multiple employees (who work in a different Premier location) looked for such a call for volunteers in their email and could find none. Regardless, there was no representation of Premier in the parade – where some organizations were represented by only a few individuals, but were present.]
This is particularly relevant as this regime makes it so that transpeople can be discriminated against in healthcare and glibly discusses refusing care to people based on “religious conviction”.
Not to say that religion and discrimination go hand in hand. I also saw several church groups march in the parade as well, so clearly one can be a person of faith and still be for equal rights.
But with Kettering Health explicitly religious (and that faith is one not fond of “practicing homosexuals“), and Premier Health citing its minority Catholic ownership to justify policy decisions…
Well, the total absence of these two huge employers, which control most of the healthcare in the region, speaks volumes.
Especially when even a pedaling beer bike can bother to show up.