HRC Blog

Discrimination on the Ballot: Fighting Back in Ohio

In August 2009, with an overwhelmingly positive vote from the city council, Bowling Green, Ohio, passed two ordinances providing broad civil rights protections. The ordinances protect individuals from discrimination on specific bases, including sexual orientation and gender identity, in housing, public accommodations, employment, and public education.* The existing ordinance bans discrimination only based on race, color, or creed. Unfortunately, a successful recall petition drive has placed both ordinances on the November 2, 2010 ballot for a public referendum. The ordinances are in abeyance – that is they will not take effect – pending the outcome of the vote. A broad coalition of residents, reflective of the city’s diversity, has established One Bowling Green, a campaign to educate votes about the importance of protecting the non-discrimination ordinances. To successfully protect these ordinances, support will be needed from around the state and across the country. The benefits of these laws are not limited to Bowling Green residents, but also protect employees who work in Bowling Green while living in neighboring communities and anyone who visits the town whether for a brief stay or on regular shopping excursions. Keeping these ordinances can provide a working model for successful legislation to protect all Ohioans. One city at a time, legislators can be pressured to extend existing anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Visit www.onebowlinggreen.org to see how you can help! *Protected classifications include: race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sex, pregnancy, age, sexual orientation, creed, ancestry, disability, military status, pregnancy, HIV-status, marital status, family status, veteran status, and physical characteristics

Paid for by the Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solmonese, President, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington DC, 20036
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