Anti-Gay Legislation Could Hurt the State’s Economy in the Long Run (KWGS)

By Matt Trotter

A flurry of anti-gay legislation could damage Oklahoma’s chances of attracting top companies to the state.

Oklahoma College of Business Dean Mickey Hepner said large companies employ diverse work forces and have an eye on social policies when they consider opening up shop in a state.

“And they want to make sure they’re going to be in places that are open and honest and caring and compassionate to all of them,” Hepner said “Perhaps the golden rule that we should follow as we think about the policies that we’re going to enact is let’s always keep in mind how we make others feel, and let’s try not to make ourselves look bad.

“Because it really doesn’t help us in attracting jobs and, frankly, creating the high quality of life that our current citizens and our future citizens need to have.”

Hepner was participating in a panel discussion about the state’s economy during the Oklahoma Policy Institute’s budget summit in Oklahoma City.

Workforce Tulsa Director Shelley Cadamy was on the same panel. She said the best companies understand diversity helps their bottom lines by having more points of view at the table.

“We have to acknowledge that we need to be a welcoming state if we want our companies to be healthy and to create wealth in Oklahoma,” Cadamy said.

Several state legislators have filed bills for the 2015 session targeting LGBT Oklahomans.

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