Category Archives: Blog

Back to School: Creating a Welcoming Environment for LGBTQ Students

As my retired-school-teacher mother always says, once you start hearing those cicadas in Ohio in mid-August, you know a new school year is upon us. And here (and hear) we are. It’s a sorry fact that LGBTQ youth in our schools face increased harassment and bullying, by fellow students and also faculty and staff, as […]

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Category Archives: Blog

SCOTUS Term in Review and Fall Term Preview: An Uncertain Forecast

Last summer, the end of the Supreme Court’s term brought a variety of mixed emotions for advocates of LGBT rights. Disappointment with the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision, but pleased that a solid majority affirmed the concept of LGBT equal access to the marketplace. Despair over Justice Kennedy’s retirement. Doubts about a Supreme Court trending more conservative and dreading […]

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Category Archives: Blog

What’s the Doggone Law?

“Is that a service dog?” It’s one of the first questions business owners and employees ask when an animal walks into a public setting, like a store or restaurant. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of confusion about what makes a dog a service dog. Many people confuse service animals with therapy dogs or emotional support animals. […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Public Interest Law: An Intern’s Perspective

Public interest law may not be the sexy, high paying, high-intensity law that you see on TV. However, it is a necessary occupation that provides attorneys a rewarding and educational experience where they learn through the chaos and end up helping those who are unable to help themselves. As an intern at Equality Ohio, I’ve […]

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Category Archives: Blog

LGBTQ Parenting: What You Need to Know About Adoption

It is the goal of many same-sex couples to start a family, married or otherwise. However, the process of bringing a child into the world, or adopting one, can be complex to navigate in Ohio, particularly in ensuring that parental rights are secured. Despite the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision that made same-sex marriage, […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Camping OUT With TGNC Kids

Summer camp is a right of passage for many—whether it be day camp, sleep-away camp, a specific interest program, or just pitching a pup tent in the backyard or living room, these memories can last a lifetime. LGBTQ children and young adults should not be left out of these experiences. But there are camps that […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Are you in Need of a Protection Order?

Unfortunately, many LGBTQ Ohioans face the risk of experiencing violence or other harassment by a loved one, family member, or other people in the community. The growing number of murders of trans women of color, some within our own state, are a heart wrenching recent example of violence directed at the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ victims […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Crime Victim’s Compensation helps Victims with Costs

Crimes like assault, human trafficking, domestic violence, and homicide can be extremely traumatic for survivors and family members and often lead to expensive medical bills and lost wages. Fortunately, there is a government fund that may offset some of that financial burden. The Victims of Crime Act (or “VOCA”) is a federal law that provides […]

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Category Archives: Blog

50 Years After Stonewall, Where is Ohio?

In 1971, Ohioans were traveling to New York City by carpool to join the Christopher Street Liberation Day march, which had begun the year before to commemorate the infamous Stonewall riots. The following year, the first All-Ohio Gay Conference took place in Columbus. The first Pride march in Ohio took place in Cincinnati in 1973. […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Drugs Courts Promote Recovery, Offer Second Chances Incarceration Can’t

Since its creation in 1996, the Ohio Drug Court program has expanded from 3 specialty dockets to 112, spanning 54 counties. Last month, Governor Mike DeWine proposed the creation of 30 additional drug courts across the state, especially in those 34 counties that do not have a specialty docket available. According to several surveys completed […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Lawmakers coming out against bill seen as banning Ohio kids performing in drag

Have you heard of House Bill 180? Ohio legislation proposed after Perrysburg boy’s drag show, Toledo Blade Boy’s drag routine prompts Republican to seek new rules on child exploitation, The Guardian Child drag shows would be outlawed under new Ohio bill, Cleveland.com Sashay Away? Ohio Legislature Moves to Ban Child Drag Shows, Logo At first, […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Possible LGBTQ Protections under EEOC

Despite the lack of explicit federal statutory protections against discrimination based upon sexual orientation and gender identity, there currently are some protections afforded by federal administrative agencies. One of these administrative protections is in the employment context.   The Civil Rights Act of 1964 created the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC is […]

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Category Archives: Blog

I volunteered with Equality Ohio. Here’s what it was like.

Equality Ohio regularly offers volunteer opportunities, all of which are geared towards helping the LGBTQ population in Ohio. Despite, my passion for the cause, I had often dismissed these opportunities by telling myself that I was too busy to participate, despite having a bit more time in my schedule than I was willing to admit. […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Ohio’s “Silent” Vital Records Policies

There are approximately 1.4 million transgender people currently living in the United States. We may never have an accurate account of how many gender variant people live here in Ohio, but with a population of roughly 11.7 million, I would confidently estimate it to be in the thousands. According to the National Center for Transgender […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Indigency: Can Your Civil Court Fees be Waived?

On March 22, 2019, Ohio Revised Code § 2323.311 became effective. Before this new statutory section was passed, Ohio law did not provide a uniform process for determining indigency (or lack of ability to pay) in civil cases, only in criminal proceedings. Without such a uniform process, low-income litigants often faced unnecessary hurdles in seeking […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Alliance Defending Freedom is suing an Ohio city. We won’t be intimidated.

Today, Alliance Defending Freedom––a massive, national, anti-LGBTQ force––filed a federal lawsuit against South Euclid, Ohio. Why? South Euclid’s LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. Ohio’s nondiscrimination laws do not include LGBTQ people, so cities like South Euclid have to take these steps on their own in order to be welcoming and inclusive of LGBTQ people. Let’s Get Real […]

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Category Archives: Blog

International Transgender Day of Visibility

International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) is a celebration of transgender and gender non-conforming people. We celebrate their courage and strength to live as their authentic selves, despite the great inequalities that they continue to face in Ohio and around the world. Transgender people are a part of each and every one of our lives, […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Ohio’s New Record Sealing Process

There are many people in Ohio who have criminal convictions and are in need of a second chance. Unfortunately, second chances don’t come easily when one’s criminal conviction shows up on every rental background check, employment application, and other situations necessary to begin the process of starting over. Recently, Ohio changed its record sealing laws. […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Eviction Expungement in Cleveland

America is currently undergoing an eviction epidemic. In Cuyahoga County alone, over 27,000 eviction cases are filed every year, in large part due to lack of affordable housing options for low-income residents. Extreme hardship can often follow an eviction and make it incredibly difficult for residents to find proper housing. To remedy this, the Cleveland […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Restore: Columbus and talking LGBTQ Christianity

LOVEboldly exists to empower willing Christians and LGBTQ+ individuals to step towards loving one another more boldly. They recently held a conversation in Columbus during Restore: Columbus 2019. Arguably one of the most divisive topics of our time, faith and sexuality conversations continue to divide churches and families, hurt our witness with others, inhibit our […]

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Category Archives: Blog

NEWS RELEASE: Ohio Competes praises bi-partisan introduction of Ohio Fairness Act into Ohio’s 133nd Senate

The Ohio Fairness Act does a simple thing. It adds “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” to the laws that make discrimination illegal in Ohio, and it would bring Ohio in line with 21 other states with a similar law. On Monday, Senator Nickie Antonio announced the bill would be back in the Ohio’s […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Update on Ohio Fairness Act from Gwen, Equality Ohio’s new Statewide Civic Engagement Director

Hi, I’m Gwen. I’m Equality Ohio’s new Statewide Civic Engagement Director. I want to give an important update to you on the Ohio Fairness Act––which was just introduced by Sen. Nickie Antonio––but first, I need to introduce myself, especially if you don’t live in Northeast Ohio.  I’m Equality Ohio’s new Statewide Civic Engagement Director. It’s […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Amber Evans Support Fund

Amber Evans went missing on Monday, January 28th. Ambers work enriched central Ohio, and her work with the Juvenile Justice Coalition is very important in our efforts to help LGBTQ youth that are involved in Ohio’s juvenile justice system. There is a GoFundMe for expenses the family may incur as more information becomes public. According […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Governor DeWine extends trans-inclusive nondiscrimination for state employees

Today, Governor Mike DeWine issued an executive order that prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ state employees. This executive order was among the first six that Governor DeWine signed, underscoring his recognition of the need for respectful and fair treatment of all state employees, including LGBTQ workers. Donate $5 now and we’ll split it 50/50 with TransOhio, […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Gov. Kasich Issues New Executive Order to Protect all LGBTQ State Employees

Today, Governor John Kasich issued Executive Order 2018-12K to take a significant step in ensuring that all Ohioans, including LGBTQ Ohioans, are protected from discrimination in state employment. This Executive Order explicitly prohibits discrimination in state employment on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and other protected bases such as race, color, […]

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Category Archives: Blog

The Midterms and LGBTQ Ohioans

Tuesday’s election results brought a flood of emotions for LGBTQ people and their allies across the country. We’ve taken the last few days to process, analyze, and strategize. Our conclusion: Ohio is ready for equality and we are more dedicated and prepared than ever to make that happen. Equality Ohio was more engaged in this […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Why did the Ohio Senate get so many Cs?

With over half of the Ohio Senate up for reelection this season, LGBTQ Ohioans and their allies have the opportunity to dramatically shift the dialogue in Columbus from questions of if? and how? to answers of when and now. You may notice that 20 out of 32 Senators that we graded earned Cs. There are […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Ohio licensing board: conversion therapy “harmful,” can discipline licensees

Equality Ohio has been involved with The Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage & Family Therapist Board (“CSWMFT Board”) for over three years on issues relating to conversion “therapy.” Today, the CSWMFT Board took its clearest stance yet on the dangerous practice by voting through a strong statement acknowledging in explicit terms that the practice is […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Ohio civil rights champion Lana Moore inducted to Columbus Hall of Fame

This week, Mayor Andrew Ginther swore in Captain Lana Moore into the City of Columbus Hall of Fame. Equality Ohio is proud to have nominated her and supported her nomination. Lana has been a longtime friend and partner to Equality Ohio and has worked relentlessly for an Ohio we can all call home, regardless of sexual […]

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Category Archives: Blog

The Ohio House of Representatives: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Voters in Ohio have huge decisions to make this election season, but some of the most important decisions are made by individuals at the bottom of the ballot. Members of the Ohio House of Representatives have the opportunity to pass legislation that can greatly help or greatly hurt the LGBTQ community here in Ohio. Some […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Equality Ohio Endorses Issue 1

Issue 1 reclassifies certain drug offenses that disproportionately impact LGBTQ people. Addiction is a serious and growing problem in Ohio, and the LGBTQ community is not immune. In fact, as a result of stigma, family rejection, chronic stress, and the other impacts of homophobia and transphobia, the LGBTQ community is more acutely impacted by substance […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Rep. Nino Vitale isn’t happy about getting an F

Earlier this month, Equality Ohio introduced our first Elected Official Scorecard. There were some As, some Bs, quite a bit of Cs, and even some Ds and Fs. One Ohio legislator, Rep. Nino Vitale, did not appreciate his grade. He took to Facebook, and here, we fact-check his post. Be sure to click on the […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Ohio’s Statewide Candidates: How they Compare

The statewide portion of the scorecard is the only section where we place candidates’ records on LGBTQ issues head to head to show what often are major differences in their approached to lived and legal equality. You may notice that some statewide candidates, like State Auditor and State Treasurer, do not appear in our scorecard. […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Lakewood becomes 6th Ohio city to ban conversion therapy on minors

In a unanimous vote, the city of Lakewood became the sixth Ohio city to ban the practice of conversion “therapy” on minors. Organizations such as the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, American Counseling Association, American Psychoanalytic Association, American Psychological Association, National Association of School Psychologists, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, American […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Poll Worker Tips: Interacting Respectfully with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People

Ensuring that voting is open to all is a basic function of democracy, however, sometimes transgender people can face needless frustration and anxiety at the polls. An NBC News investigation from August found transgender voters could face obstacles while voting. One voter faced delays and anxiety after the poll worker perceived a mismatch between the […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Equality Ohio’s Inaugural Elected Official Scorecard: A Deeper Look

The scorecard that you see in front of you today is the result of three months of research (and gallons of coffee). There are many important elected official scorecards. This scorecard is unique in that our sole evaluation criteria are LGBTQ issues in Ohio. Equality Ohio is a nonpartisan organization and equality for LGBTQ Ohioans […]

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Category Archives: Blog

You asked us to grade Ohio’s elected officials. So we did.

After several months of poring over voting records, newspaper archives, and social media accounts, we are proud to present Equality Ohio’s Inaugural Elected Official Scorecard. Ohio’s LGBTQ community has long been asking for a way to hold their elected officials accountable for their records on the issues so important to our community. Now, it is […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Cuyahoga County now 21st Ohio community to welcome LGBTQ Ohioans

Cuyahoga County Council just made history for its LGBTQ residents. The council––the first county in Ohio, and only one of two that can enact such a law, the other being Summit––voted to establish county-wide LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination protections. In addition, they created a Human Rights Commission in order to advance a culture of diversity and inclusion, […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Cuyahoga County Council Vote On LGBTQ-Inclusive Nondiscrimination: What You Can Do

You may have heard that the last Cuyahoga County Council meeting was a spectacle.Read this article from Cleveland Scene to get an idea, or watch the meeting for yourself here (content warning: anti-LGBTQ comments are made). Equality Ohio and dedicated community members have been working with the council on this ordinance for months and months––and now, the […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Letter to ABC 6 WSYX, FOX 28 WTTE regarding Marshall McPeek remarks

Note: this letter was drafted in collaboration with all undersigned organizations regarding offensive statements that Marshall McPeek, a Columbus news personality, recently made at an NLGJA event. Equality Ohio is sharing it here. We want to share our collective concerns and request meaningful, measurable change to combat a climate that has allowed marginalized communities to […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Jim Obergefell to be honored in Ohio’s Civil Rights Hall of Fame

Obergefell is the second Ohioan inducted into the state’s Civil Rights Hall of Fame for work specifically on behalf of LGBTQ people. Former Ohio State University law professor Rhonda Rivera, one of the early advocates for LGBTQ civil rights in Ohio, was inducted in 2010. The 60 other members of the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame include Jesse […]

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Category Archives: Blog

Trump administration to allow federal contractors to discriminate?

On July 21st 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order 13672, which added gender identity to the list of protected classes that the federal government does not discriminate against in employment. The order also added both sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of classes that federal contractors are prohibited from discriminating against. Now, the […]

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Category Archives: Blog

HB658: Anti-Trans, Absurd, and Unnecessary

Ohio’s HB658 is the latest attempt by anti-LGBTQ extremists in Ohio to codify explicit second-class citizenship for LGBTQ people, only this time, they are targeting transgender youth. HB658 (1) requires school staff to inform parents if a child wishes to be “treated in a manner opposite” of their “biological sex” and (2) requires written authorization […]

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