Category Archives: HB 176

Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil Announced for Columbus


Gloria McCauley, BRAVO
(614) 294-7867

Shane Morgan, TransOhio
(614) 441-8167

Columbus, Ohio – October 4, 2010 – Local and statewide organizations announce the 12th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is held in November each year to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgender, each was a victim of violence based on bias or prejudice against transgender people.

The list of deaths available at only contains those deaths known to the transgender community or that have been reported to the media. The Day of Remembrance is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.

This year’s vigil will take place on Thursday, November 18, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at King Avenue United Methodist Church, located at 299 King Avenue, Columbus, 43201. King Avenue United Methodist Church is handicap accessible. The vigil will be ASL interpreted.

Remember. Honor. Empower.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is intended to raise public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, an action that current media does not perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of transgender people who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance gives transgender people and their allies a chance to step forward and stand in vigil, memorializing those who have died by anti-transgender violence.

Community Partners include: TransOhio, Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO), King Avenue United Methodist Church, North Congregational United Church of Christs’ Gender Fold Action Alliance, New Leaf Columbus, Stonewall Columbus, The Ohio State University GLBT Alumni Society, Equality Ohio, HRC-Columbus, Columbus AIDS Task Force, The Ohio State University Multicultual Center.

If your organization or community group would like to become a community partner, please contact TDOR Co-Chair Karen at


Equal Housing and Employment Bill (HB 176) stalls in Ohio Senate, USA

Equal Housing and Employment Bill (HB 176) stalls in Ohio Senate

June 28, 8:35 AM – Cincinnati Liberal Issues Examiner – Timothy Gabelman

On September 15, 2009, with a vote of 56 to 39, Ohio’s House of Representatives passed the Equal Housing and Employment Bill (HB 176). The historic vote marks the first time in Ohio that a vote on the floor of the Ohio General Assembly has occurred on legislation protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

This bill would prohibit discriminatory practices on the basis of actual or perceived “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” and empower the Ohio Civil Rights Commission to enforce anti-discrimination measure against the LGBT community in employment and housing.

At present, only twelve states and the District of Columbia protect individuals in their workplaces from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, while an additional nine states protect individuals on the basis of sexual orientation alone.

At this juncture, only 42% of the states protect their most valuable economic commodity – their workers – from discrimination against a quality that in no way impacts their ability to perform their job.

Yet, as of February 2009, 423 (85%) of the Fortune 500 companies ban discrimination based on orientation and 176 (35%) ban discrimination based on orientation and identity. Some of the leading employers that support fairness in the workplace and have stated support for federal legislation banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity include: Bank of America Corp., Best Buy Co., Cisco Systems, Clear Channel Communications, Coca-Cola Co., Dell Inc., General Mills Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase and Co., Microsoft Corp.,
MillerCoors Brewing Co., Nationwide (headquartered in Columbus, OH), NCR Corp., and Time Warner, Inc.

It is unfathomable that corporate America would extend greater benefits than the law allows unless it recognized that qualified individuals should not be discriminated against based on characteristics unrelated to their job.

In a 2006 poll, 66% of Ohio registered voters believe that laws should be passed banning discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on both sexual orientation and gender identity or
expression (2006 Glengariff Poll of Ohio voters commissioned by Equality Ohio Education Fund).

The Ohio House of Representatives stood for equality in Ohio’s employment practices and housing accommodations, and fought for the due process of law to ensure that equal protection would be a hallmark
of Ohio’s Civil Rights Commission; Ohio’s governor, Ted Strickland, has promised to sign this legislation into law.

However, when the bill was brought to Ohio’s Senate, it was not assigned to a committee or to a floor vote.

Senate President Bill Harris (R-OH19) has, through an aide, expressed some doubts about the bill and subsequently has refused to allow it to see the light of day from the Ohio Senate or to even allow dialogue in
committee to reconcile the issues that he may have with it.

If you would like Ohio to join with the 21 other states of this nation in protecting the rights of workers, especially in a time of economic uncertainty, you can contact your state senator (a list of which can the found to the right of this article) and urge them to contact the President of the Senate or write Senate Harris directly at:

Senator Bill Harris
President of the Senate
1 Capitol Square, 2nd Floor
Columbus, OH 43215

You can also call his office at (614) 466-8086 or email him at

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TLDEF Files Employment Discrimination Complaint with Florida Commission on Human Relations Against McDonald’s for Refusing to Hire Transgender Woman

December 7, 2009 – TLDEF today filed a Complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations against an Orlando McDonald’s restaurant for refusing to hire 17-year-old Zikerria Bellamy because she is transgender.

On July 10, 2009, Zikerria applied online for a position as a Shift Manager or Crew Leader at McDonald’s.  On July 28, after managers at McDonald’s learned that Zikerria is transgender, she received the following voicemail message from one of the managers:

Zikerria never received the job interview she sought.  McDonald’s refused to hire her.

Zikerria’s story is all too common.  Transgender people face tremendous discrimination in the workplace.  According to a recent survey by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality, 47% of transgender people report being fired, or denied a job or promotion, just because of who they are.

Few protections exist for transgender people who experience employment discrimination.  In 38 states, there is no law protecting transgender people from being fired because of who they are.  Federal law similarly offers no job protection for transgender people.

In Florida, while no law explicitly addresses discrimination based on gender identity, administrative agencies in Florida have ruled that transgender people are protected by the Florida Human Rights Act’s prohibitions on sex and disability discrimination.  The Competitive Workforce Bill, which would add gender identity and sexual orientation to the Florida Civil Rights Act, was introduced in the Florida legislature on November 20.

At the federal level, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) (S.1584) would address discrimination in the workplace by making it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote an employee based on the person’s gender identity or sexual orientation at companies with fifteen or more employees.  The legislation was introduced in the United States Senate on August 5, 2009.  On November 5, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee held the Senate’s first hearing on the latest version of ENDA.  A version of ENDA was also introduced in the United States House of Representatives on June 24, 2009.  The House Education and Labor Committee held a hearing on the measure on September 23.  Little has happened since.

According to a 2007 survey, 72 percent of Americans agree that “fairness is a basic American value and employment decisions should be based solely on qualifications and job performance, including for transgender people.”  In a 2002 poll, 61 percent of those polled said that we need laws to protect transgender people from discrimination.  President Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and has stated his belief that anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

What You Can Do


As you’ve done in the past, please help us spread the word about what happened to Zikerria.  Let’s do our best to make sure it never happens again.  Post the voicemail on Facebook, tweet about it, write about it in your blogs and embed the voicemail there, too.  The louder we raise our voices, the more people will listen!


We’ve joined with our friends and partners at organizations around the nation to demand that Congress take swift action to pass the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA).  In light of continuing delays in the House of Representatives, we must state clearly and unequivocally:  Passing basic job protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people must happen now.

Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 and ask to speak to your Representative (have your zip code handy and they’ll help identify your member of Congress).

When you are connected with your Representative’s office, give your name and your city and then let them know:

I am calling in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H. R. 3017/S. 1584), which will protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from job discrimination. No one deserves to be fired from their job because of who they are. No more delays–it is time to pass ENDA.

You can also tell them that you’ve heard about Zikerria Bellamy’s case.  If you get voicemail instead of a person, leave a message – they count just as much as if you reach a staff member. You can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  If you’ve called in the past, no problem.  Call again.


McDonald’s is one of the largest corporations in the world.  To say that its resources dwarf ours is an epic understatement.  We can’t win this alone.  We need your help to do it.  Please donate now to help us win this fight for equal rights.  Your support continues to inspire us.  Thank you!

Article online at

Equality Ohio Announces Appointment of New Executive Director

Equality Ohio Announces Appointment of New Executive Director
Experienced Cleveland Leader to Lead Statewide LGBT Rights Organization

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

CONTACT:   Mike Castle, Equality Ohio Board President
Cell: 937-672-3951

Columbus, Ohio – The Equality Ohio Board of Directors announced today the selection of Sue Doerfer as the organization’s new Executive Director. Ms. Doerfer was chosen following an extensive national search. She comes to Equality Ohio after serving five years as Executive Director of the Cleveland LGBT Center.  Her experience and involvement with the work of Equality Ohio goes back to the organization’s creation on April 22, 2005 where she was a member of the group of 65 individuals who formed Equality Ohio.

“We are thrilled to have Sue joining Equality Ohio as our second Executive Director,” said Equality Ohio Education Fund Board President Jeff Smith. “Sue brings commitment, community awareness, bridge building, and political savvy to her life’s work as an activist. Her years of executive nonprofit leadership experience, success working on local, state and national political and legislative campaigns, commitment to Equality Ohio’s vision and mission, and her knowledge of the political and social landscapes in which LGBT Ohioans live and work make her an ideal leader for us. Her statewide presence and track record of success will allow her to hit the ground running.”

Ms. Doerfer’s work as the Executive Director of the Cleveland LGBT Center included the development of services focused on outreach to homeless youth in Cuyahoga County and the creation of new and innovative methods for raising funds to support the Center’s vital work.  She oversaw an increase of the Center’s budget by 30% during her tenure, as well as the development of an LGBT-focused community health service center.  Over the past five years, Doerfer has collaborated with Cleveland City Council and other community leaders on    developing a Domestic Partnership Registry, adding Gender Identity to legal nondiscrimination protections, and creating Ohio’s first City-sponsored LGBT Heritage Day.

Prior to her work with the Cleveland LGBT Center, Ms. Doerfer served as the Clinical Director of Services for the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland and as Director of Social Services for Broadway House for Continuing Care in Newark, NJ.  Doerfer has a Bachelors Degree in psychology/sociology from St. Ambrose University and a Masters of Social Work from California State University.  Her volunteer work includes longtime involvement with Cleveland Stonewall Democrats and Cleveland Pride.  For the past three years, Sue has served on the Board of Directors for CenterLink: The National Association for LGBT Community Centers.

“I am honored to have been selected to lead Equality Ohio as the new Executive Director,” said Doerfer.  “The work that has been done since the organization’s founding four and a half years ago has provided concrete outcomes that have moved Ohio forward.  It is exciting for me to join such a strong and well-respected organization and I look forward to shaping its future with my ideas, leadership, energy and passion for LGBT equality.”

“With vision, energy and a collaborative spirit, Sue will work tirelessly towards the advancement of equality, respect and acceptance of LGBT people in Ohio,” said Equality Ohio Board President Rev. Mike Castle of Dayton. “She has a strong team in Kim Welter, Erin Upchurch and Michele Hopkins, committed boards of directors, engaged coalition partners across the state, and a broad-based membership to support her in our mission.”

Ms. Doerfer will start with the organization in January and will divide her time between Cleveland and the organization’s home office in Columbus. The boards are now beginning to plan a series of events to be held in Ms. Doerfer’s first few months to provide numerous opportunities for the LGBT and allied community across the state to meet and get to know her. Please check for event information as it is published.

Equality Ohio envisions an Ohio where everyone feels at home, living in families and communities where equality, diversity, and inclusiveness are universally valued and where government protects all people and responds to their needs regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

December 2009 TransOhio Newsletter Now Available!

Tuesday, December 2, 2009

Hello TransOhio Family, Friends and Supporters!

The December 2009 issue of the TransOhio newsletter is now available!

You can download the newsletter at:

Our TG support group meeting will be held tonight Wednesday, December 2nd at 7pm at The Center on High, and our monthly general meeting on Sunday, December 20, 3pm.

The next TransOhio Partners’ Discussion Group will be held on Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 2pm in Columbus at The Center on High (1160 N. High Street, Columbus, 43201).

There are tons of events & activities happening in December, so, make sure you take a look at the calendar and the other events noted throughout the newsletter!

Make an end-of-the-year TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donation to TransOhio!

  • Did you know that your donations to TransOhio are tax-deductible?
    It’s true, they are!
  • Did you know that TransOhio is an all-volunteer board?
    It’s true, we don’t get paid!
  • Did you know that your tax-deductible donations to TransOhio assist us in providing programs, outreach & educational programs and events FREE to the Ohio transgender community?It’s true! Every dollar you donate to TransOhio makes a difference.

    It’s true, really. Every dollar counts!

To make your tax-deductible donation to TransOhio, visit

Upcoming events: 

  • Christmas day dinner and movie w/ TransOhio. Visit for details.
  • The Crystal Club Holiday dinner   
  • New Year’s Day dinner and movie w/ TransOhio. Visit for details. (All are welcome!)
  • December Holiday Activities (Whiteout Party at The Center on High, Sat. Dec. 5, 6pm-10pm)
  • and more!

Take care everybody! Be safe during the holiday season.
Best wishes from the TransOhio family, to all of you!
TransOhio Board
Shane, Karen, Tara and Milo