Tag Archives: non-discrimination

Lakewood to add gender identity to equality laws

Gay People’s Chronicle, OH, USA

December 17, 2010

Lakewood to add gender identity to equality laws

by Anthony Glassman

Lakewood–City council stands poised to expand protections for transgender residents with the passage of three new ordinances.

The final votes are expected on December 20, according to councilor Nickie Antonio and council president Kevin Butler.

The move comes just months after Antonio, who leaves for the Ohio House of Representatives next month, worked with the human resources director of Lakewood to add sexual orientation and gender identity to personnel policies across the board, protecting city employees from anti-gay and anti-trans discrimination.

“Further, the language that was incorporated into the updated policies and procedures has also been expanded and incorporated into some of the union contracts that have been negotiated this year, so those protections will now be in those contracts going forward,” Antonio said, “which I really believe speaks to the city of Lakewood’s commitment to respecting diversity in hiring and employment.”

The three proposed ordinances, which were introduced by Butler when Antonio was at a new-legislator orientation in Columbus last month, would amend section 501.01 of the city code, which provides definitions, to add ones for sexual orientation and gender identity; section 537.18, to add gender identity or expression to the ethnic intimidation ordinance which already contains sexual orientation, and section 516, the fair housing ordinance, to bar discrimination in housing and  financing on the basis of gender identity and expression.

The fair housing code also currently includes sexual orientation.

Antonio was elected to the 13th District Ohio House seat that State Rep. Mike Skindell is vacating due to term limits. Skindell was also a Lakewood City Council member, and has won election to the Ohio Senate for the 23rd district. Skindell is a staunch supporter of LGBT rights,  and was one of the main proponents of the addition of sexual orientation to the Lakewood city codes.

With the measures’ passage, Lakewood would become Ohio’s eleventh city to include transgender people in its equal rights ordinances. The others are Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo, Dayton, Akron, Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, Bowling Green and Oxford. Six more cities have sexual orientation equality measures: Canton, Oberlin, Yellow Springs, Athens, North Olmsted and East Cleveland.

No federal or Ohio law protects either group, unlike in 21 other states and the District of Columbia. A measure to do so passed the
Ohio House last year but never saw a Senate vote; a similar federal bill has met a similar fate.

© 2008 KWIR Publications

http://www.gaypeopleschronicle.com/stories10/december/1217101.htm

Anti-discrimination laws passed in Bowling Green, Ohio!

Toledo Blade, OH, USA

Article published November 23, 2010

Anti-discrimination laws passed in Bowling Green

Gay, transgender rights activists cheer

By JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

BOWLING GREEN – Cheers rang out from all but a handful of people crowding the Wood County Board of Elections office yesterday when it was learned that two city ordinances that protect gay and transgender persons from discrimination had passed.

The laws, which were adopted by Bowling Green City Council in August, 2009, were put before voters as referendums Nov. 2. On election night, one passed, the other failed – both by slim margins.

Monday, after provisional ballots were counted, an ordinance that adds 12 protected classes to the city’s housing code was approved, 4,767 to 4,284. An ordinance that protects those same groups from discrimination in employment, education, businesses, and public services passed, 4,635 to 4,338. That law also sets up a process by which complaints of discrimination can be heard by the city.

“Today the voters of Bowling Green sent a message that affirms that we are ‘One Bowling Green’ and we are fair and welcoming,” said Jane Rosser, who chaired the One Bowling Green campaign. “We began this campaign truly believing in a community that wants every person to be treated fairly, to have a fair chance, to be able to live, work, go to school, and play in our community without fear or discrimination.”

When the laws take effect in 30 days, Bowling Green will become the 17th Ohio city and one of more than 125 nationwide to have local ordinances that protect gay and transgender persons from discrimination.

“This marks an important victory for Bowling Green, where voters have affirmed that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are part of the fundamental social fabric of the city,” Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said in a  statement.

Mary Vollmar, a member of the group that got the referendums on the ballot, said she believes the ordinances lay the foundation for a campaign to legalize same-sex marriage.

“The battle for the sanctity of one-man, one-woman marriage in communities like ours starts with issues like these,” she said.

Kim Welter, who managed the campaign to keep the laws on the books, said Toledo passed similar legislation in 1998 and it certainly hasn’t led in that direction.

She also said Toledo has never received a complaint alleging discrimination based on sexual orientation.

“This isn’t a way to cure discrimination,” Ms. Welter said. “This is an option to give people a place to report discrimination if they
choose to.”

Under the new law, allegations of discrimination would be reviewed by a city representative. If evidence of discrimination were found, the city would work with the two sides to reconcile the problem, and, if that failed, the individual believed to have broken the law could be charged with a fourth-degree misdemeanor.

Saying she was proud the ordinances had passed, Ms. Rosser added that those who sought to overturn the laws “brought messages into our community that caused fear and promoted misunderstanding.” While 12 groups of persons, including veterans and pregnant women, were among those who will be protected by the new laws, the campaign quickly became “a referendum on gay and transgender people,” she said.

“To many voters this wasn’t about equal access to housing and jobs, but rather, are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender people worthy
members of our city?” Ms. Rosser said. “Are they worth protecting?”

Opponents of the ordinances Monday maintained that year-round city residents did not want the new laws but the student vote tipped the scale.

“We worked hard. We were extremely close considering we were outspent by about eight times,” said Crystal Thompson, spokesman for BG Citizens Voting No to Special Rights Discrimination.

The final results were not close enough to force an automatic recount.

“The city clearly didn’t want it,” Ms. Thompson said. “We had over a 1,000-vote lead at 11 p.m. election night.”

In fact, when 100 percent of the votes cast Nov. 2 were counted, both ordinances had failed. When absentee votes were added in later that night, one had passed by 24 votes, the other failed by 116 votes.

Volunteers with the Bowling Green Coalition for Justice were counting on the 944 provisional ballots cast in the city to give them a victory because they had worked hard to get Bowling Green State University students to the polls.

Terry Burton, deputy director of the elections board, said the majority of those casting provisional ballots in the city were BGSU
students, many of whom were registered to vote in their hometown but voted in Bowling Green.

Ms. Welter said she doesn’t believe the majority of city residents were opposed to the laws. Some may be opposed to adding new laws in general, she said, “but I don’t think most of BG thinks gay and transgender people should be discriminated against.”

Contact Jennifer Feehan at:
jfeehan@theblade.com
or 419-724-6129.

Copyright 2010 The Blade

http://toledoblade.com/article/20101123/NEWS09/11220381

Bowling Green Residents Need Your Help to Fight Discrimination

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed. It is the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead

It Takes An Army To Move A Mountain

Something that never ceases to inspire me is that when a call goes out for action, our community rises to the occasion and goes above and beyond to help one another. While the world surrounding us is in a constant state of flux and perhaps chaos, it is now the time for each of us to come together and stand up to those who are spreading mis-information and using the traditional scare tactics to spread hate and lies about who we are.

We are a community, an army, so, let’s help One Bowling Green dig in and see that everybody in Ohio has the opportunity to fair employment practices, public education, housing and banking regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation.

Let’s change the landscape and see Bowling Green become the next Ohio city to join the ranks of Toledo, Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Columbus, Cincinnati and Athens in anti-discrimination ordinances.

Volunteer with One Bowling Green now! Our community needs you.

What You Can Do To Help One Bowling Green To Be The Next Ohio City To End Discrimination!

Canvassing Bowling Green Neighborhoods!

Team up with One Bowling Green members to visit residents in the city of Bowling Green. Share your personal story of why these non-discrimination ordinances are important to you. Connecting with Bowling Green residents 1-on-1 is vital to the passage of ordinances 7905 and 7906.

  • Monday: 5:15-9:30pm
  • Tuesday: 5:15-9:30pm
  • Saturday: 8:15-1:00pm
  • Sunday: 1:45-6:00pm

Two additional canvasses have been added for Friday, October 15th and October 16th, 5:30pm-9:30pm so that Matt Barber and Phil Burress can join One Bowling Green canvassers!

Confirmation Calls – please bring your cell phone!

Prefer to talk to people on the phone? Team up with One Bowling Green members to call residents in the city of Bowling Green. Share your story, and ensure that Bowling Green stays a welcoming Ohio city!

  • Monday: 11:30-1:30pm, 7:00-9:00pm
  • Tuesday: 11:30-1:30pm, 7:00-9:00pm
  • Wednesday: 11:30-1:30pm, 7:00-9:00pm
  • Thursday: 11:30-1:30pm, 7:00-9:00pm
  • Friday: 11:30-1:30pm, 7:00-9:00pm
  • Saturday: 10:30-12:30pm, 3:00-5:00pm
  • Sunday: 10:30-12:30pm, 3:00-5:00pm

Data Entry

  • Tuesday: 12-3pm, 3-6pm, 6-9pm
  • Wednesday: 12-3pm, 3-6pm
  • Friday: 12-3pm

Is It Really Important That These Ordinances Pass?
Simply put, Yes, it is. Nobody likes to be judged based upon their gender identity or expression, or for that matter, who they love. Passing Ordinances 7905 and 7906 will keep Bowling Green an open and welcoming city. Doesn’t everybody deserve to be treated with respect and dignity?

Employment — it would be unlawful to hire or fire, deny regular privileges of employment, or print any discriminatory notice because of the previously mentioned characteristics.

Public Education — it would be unlawful to deny access to public education due to the protected characteristics.

Public Accommodations — it would be unlawful to deny access to services such as restaurants or entertainment due to the protected characteristics.

Housing — it would be unlawful to refuse selling, renting or leasing, or lying about the availability of housing due to the protected characteristics.

Banking — it would be illegal to deny loans, conditions of loans, or mortgage status due to these characteristics.

About One Bowling Green

ONE Bowling Green is the local ballot question formed to urge Bowling Green, Ohio voters to approve Ordinances 7905 and 7906 by voting YES on both ordinances during the November 2, 2010 voting cycle . A grassroots coalition, ONE Bowling Green believes that all people should be treated fairly and equally when they live, work, or go to school in Bowling Green, or when they visit our community.

Email info@ONEbowlinggreen.org to get involved.

Mailing Address:

BG Coalition for Justice
P.O. Box 842
Bowling Green, OH 43402

Phone Number:
1-419-352-7454

Headquarter Information:
101 North Main
Bowling Green, OH 43402

Canvassing Meeting Place:
244 South Main Street
Bowling Green, OH 43402

Senate Democrats Push Action on Discrimination Bill – Equal Housing and Employment Act (H.B. 176)

Senate Dems Push House Bill 176 - Equal Housing and Employment Act

Got Work? Tell Congress You Want a Job!

TransOhio is calling on all transgender people to look for employment–this time, at your member of Congress’ office.

Apply for a job with your members of congress to show them that transgender people need jobs now!

With the rate of unemployment in the transgender community twice the national average, we need Congress to act now to pass the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). We’ve included a sample cover letter (this opens as a Word document, courtesy the National Center for Transgender Equality) to send to your Congressional office that calls on your member of Congress to support your job search by supporting ENDA.

Personalize the cover letter as you see fit, print out a copy of your cover letter and resume, and visit the office for your representative that is closest to your home and hand them in.

You can find out who your representative is and where their offices are located at http://www.house.gov.

Take your letter to your Representative’s office to demonstrate the need for jobs for transgender and other LGBT people.

Hey, you never know and it never hurts to try, right!

If you are able to visit in-person, wear the best business clothes that you have. If you are not able to visit the office, fax or email your letter and resume.

Good Luck, and remember, keep your head up, walk tall and don’t let anybody ever tell you you can’t do something!

In Community,
TransOhio Board of Directors