True Persecution

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Don't Let It Hit You On The Way Out!

Strange things are afoot in Cincinnati. The Ohio city has had a long and troubled history with respect to LGBT issue, but it looks like they are finally coming out of the dark and into the real world.

In 1992, the city passed an ordinance protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination. But not to be left behind by the anti-gay hate train, voters turned around and voted to remove gays as a protected class and even added a one of a kind provision to specifically prevent LGBT people from being added as a protected class in the future. Nice!

Everything changed in 2004 when that provision was repealed. It took some time, but the council in March, 2006 finally voted to add LGBT protection back into the anti-discrimination laws. Unfortunately, that change could not take effect because a hate group called Equal Rights Not Special rights halted it's enactment while they gathered signatures to put the matter to another election year vote, similar to the 1993 reversal.

fortunately for all of us, they failed and have withdrawn their petition, clearing the way for the ordinance to take effect.

While this is a big hooray, it brings up several other issues that should give the rest of us pause. First off, it once again underscores the need for federal anti-discrimination protection for the LGBT community. If there is anyone out there who still thinks that gays and lesbians are not openly persecuted in this country they are either in denial or part of the hate groups.

Secondly, another interesting issue is why the group withdrew it's efforts to get their hate vote on the ballot. It turns out many of their signatures were suspect, and according to the report, even included "Cuban President Fidel Castro and Cincinnati Reds owner Bob Castellini."

It strikes me as horribly wrong that any group could halt a measure like this just so they could get enough signatures to try and repeal it, but I suppose if it was an unjust ordinance on the other end, it would be good to have some immediate recourse action too.

In the end it was a victory for the Cincinnati LGBT community, and also for many other communities embroiled in the same fight. Hopefully there is still an opportunity for people to realize that hating gays is not only wrong but bad for society as a whole. When any member of society is discriminated against then it erodes the whole.

Nice work Cincy, there's hope for Ohio yet!


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