Prizm News / June 25, 2018 / By Bob Vitale

Matt Murray of Equality Cincinnati and Alana Jochum of Equality Ohio at a recent event honoring allies of the LGBTQ community in Cincinnati. (Photo courtesy of Equality Ohio)

The merger will help pro-equality work throughout Southwest Ohio, officials say.

By Bob Vitale

A merger between Equality Cincinnati and Equality Ohio will help the push for progress on LGBTQ issues throughout Southwest Ohio, advocates say. 

The Cincinnati advocacy group, formed in 2005 by LGBTQ activists and allies who joined forces to overturn a longstanding city law that forbade any local gay civil-rights measures, is becoming part of Equality Ohio under the merger, according to Grant Stancliff, spokesman for the statewide organization. 

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Stancliff said Equality Ohio is adding a Southwest Ohio-based organizer to its staff who will work full-time with equality-minded people and groups in the region. 

“There are a ton of people who are ready to hit the ground and make things happen,” he said. 

Cincinnati has made great progress in adopting pro-LGBTQ laws and policies in the years since voters rescinded Article XII, a 1993 charter amendment that kept the city from enacting nondiscrimination and other laws. 

There is now a law that prohibits discriminating against people in employment, housing and public accommodations based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. Cincinnati was the second city in the nation to ban the dangerous and discredited practice of “conversion therapy” against LGBTQ children. The city’s hate-crimes law also covers crimes motivated by a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity. 

But according to an Equality Ohio analysis of the laws in 250 cities throughout the state, no other cities in Southwest Ohio have adopted pro-equality measures. 

 

Bob Vitale
A Toledo native and graduate of Toledo Public Schools, Bob has worked as a local government and politics reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, as a Washington correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and as editor-in-chief for Outlook Ohio. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from Ball State University and a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.