Equality Cincinnati wants to hear from YOU! In order to break down community divisions and increase the impact of our mission--folks need to know who we are and what we believe in.
This is YOUR opportunity to stand up and be counted. As a LGBTQ individual or as an ally--tell us what matters to you in the fight for inclusion, fairness, and equality. Tell us YOUR story.
February 27th - March 7th, 2015
ReelAbilities is the largest national film festival dedicated to celebrating the lives, stories and art of people with disabilities.
Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s right: School should hire the most qualified candidates
Washington – The Human Rights Campaign, Equality Ohio and Equality Cincinnati are calling on the Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy to do the right thing and not discriminate against LGBT candidates in their hiring practices. Last week, the school extended a verbal offer to Jonathan Zeng for a position at their Armleder School in Cincinnati, and several hours later rescinded the offer of employment after directly questioning Mr. Zeng about his sexual orientation – and learning that he is gay.
Cincinnati includes sexual orientation and gender identity in their non-discrimination protections. However, HRC respects that Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, as a religious school, is exempt under the law. But that doesn't make their action morally right. Polling last year found that 86 percent of Christians believed the very tenets of their faith compelled them to support protections for LGBT people under the law. HRC and Equality Cincinnati are calling on members and supporters to contact the CHCA administration and Board of Trustees, urging them to do the right thing and hire the most qualified candidates for open jobs – regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“The majority of Christians and people of faith believe LGBT people deserve dignity, respect, and equal protections under the law,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “The Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy put Jonathan Zeng through an interview process and concluded he was one of the best people for the job. Jonathan’s sexual orientation should in no way change that assessment, but the school appears to have taken Jonathan out of the running simply because he was gay. This is an injustice to both Jonathan and the CHCA community – it sends the message to students that there’s something wrong with being gay.”
“My dealings with the Armleder community have by in large been welcoming, kind, and professional,” said Jonathan Zeng. “In my interview, I discussed extensively both my education philosophy and how my faith shaped me. Unfortunately, I now believe CHCA’s stated practice of not hiring openly LGBT people to serve as educators stands in direct contradiction with the school’s values and mission statement, and also in direct contradiction of the values we as Christians are called to promote.”
Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy touts diversity as one of its most important values on the institution’s website. Speaking to their goal of embracing diversity, the school says: “CHCA is committed to a culture that celebrates diversity. We recognize that each person is uniquely created in the image of God, and our community should reflect the diversity and unity of the Kingdom of God. In order to prepare our students for success in life, we desire to instill in them an appreciation for and willingness to learn from those with backgrounds different than their own. Our dedication to diversity is reflected in our core values, which affirm our belief in the value of each person and our commitment to a vibrant sense of community.”
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
Equality Ohio envisions an Ohio where everyone feels at home and where equality, diversity and inclusiveness are universally valued. We advocate and educate to achieve fair treatment and equal opportunity for all Ohioans regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
Equality Cincinnati is working for full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in Greater Cincinnati, and to prevent discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
It came to the attention of Equality Cincinnati that condom distribution to gay bars and gay owned businesses, which had been previously handled by Stop Aids, had not been happening. Equality Cincinnati contacted Caracole and was directed to Planned Parenthoods Outreach and HIV education department. We had an indepth conversation with Adam Reilly, HIV/HCV Syringe access Coordinator Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio, who provided the information that they were in the process of developing a major media campaign to the GLBT community. We were assured that the outreach, testing, prevention, and condom distribution efforts were going to be significantly increased by the end of may, beginning of June to the community.
Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio will be providing condoms and safer sex kits (condom, lube, testing info card) to the GLBT community through several venues across Cincinnati. There will be condom distribution sites in area GLBT bars and clubs mostly in the downtown and Northside neighborhoods and The Gay and Lesbian Center of Cincinnati. They will also distribute condoms to area community groups and organizations such as Caracole House, Light House Youth Services, Gay Straight Alliances at UC, XU, and Cincinnati State, along with multiple drug and alcohol treatment centers. Planned Parenthood of SWO is planning to expand these sites to include more bars and clubs, GLBT owned businesses, and other community based organizations that reach the GLBT community with an emphasis on GLBT youth.
If you know of locations that could benefit from condom distribution feel free to contact Equality Cincinnati and we will make every effort to have them included in Planned Parenthoods distribution list.
Equality Cincinnati has been working hard to determine the right timing to approach City Council to implement Domestic Partner benefits for City Employees. Now with the support of Cincinnati City Council members, Chris Seelbach and Roxanne Qualls, City Council has begun to examine the best way to implement benefits for domestic partners of City employees. If adopted, this will mean that all city workers in committed relationships will have equal employment benefits, regardless of whether they are able to marry their partner. It could apply to health as well as pension benefits. Those against these equal benefits are already emailing Councilmembers to urge them to reject domestic partner benefits.
We need to let Councilmembers know that other citizens (us!) support them. Please contact Councilmembers and thank them for their support in moving Domestic Partner benefits forward.
Thank you for taking the first steps towards domestic partner benefits for City workers. We are lagging behind the other large area cities, so this step towards fairness is overdue. Our city needs to attract and retain the best talent, and this helps.
Here are their emails:
Chris Seelbach - firstname.lastname@example.org
Roxanne Qualls - email@example.com
P.G. Sittenfeld - firstname.lastname@example.org
Cecil Thomas - email@example.com
Laure Quinlivan - firstname.lastname@example.org
Wendell Young - email@example.com
Chris Smitherman - firstname.lastname@example.org
Yvette Simpson - email@example.com
Please also contact Councilman Winburn firstname.lastname@example.org, who did not vote to support this effort, and ask him to join the majority in working to provide equal benefits for all City workers. It’s not too late for him to get on board!
Thank you very much for your efforts,
Equality Cincinnati is proud to announce the availability of scholarships to deserving members of the community.
Where do we register a domestic partnership?
Domestic partnerships are registered with Equality Cincinnati, the leading local LGBTQ organization in Cincinnati, Ohio whose mission is to work for full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in Greater Cincinnati and to prevent discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
How do we register our domestic partnership?
Registering is easy.
What do we get when we register our domestic partnership?
You will receive an Equality Cincinnati domestic partner registry certificate in the mail as well as a complimentary “registry” gift from Equality Cincinnati. Also, on each anniversary of your partnership, you will receive a celebratory communication from Equality Cincinnati.
Is there a fee to register with Equality Cincinnati?
Absolutely not! We are here to support, honor, and celebrate your partnership.
Is our declaration of domestic partnership a legal document?
No. Equality Cincinnati is a nonprofit organization who recognizes and supports the rights and relationships of our community members. Registering your domestic partnership with Equality Cincinnati does not create legal rights to your union.
If it is not a legal declaration, why should we register our domestic partnership with Equality Cincinnati’s registry?
We simply want to recognize and celebrate your relationship and let you and the community know that LGBTQ relationships are valid, legitimate, and supported.
What will you do with our information?
We will not release any private details of the registry. We will release tallies of how many couples are registered in our community and we will release general demographic information in those tallies to accurately reflect the diversity of LGBTQ relationships in our community.
Who can register as domestic partners?
To register as domestic partners, both partners must:
• Both be at least 18 years of age
• Be capable of consenting to the domestic partnership
In the event we want to end our partnership, how do we terminate our registry?
Simply contact Equality Cincinnati and we will remove your partnership from the registry.
Equality Cincinnati urges all of our members to support HB 176 as it moves through the Senate. HB 176 is the Equal Housing and Employment Act (EHEA) which would ban discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
It is time that sexual orientation and gender identity were added as protected classes under our Ohio Civil Rights law.
Equality Cincinnati, like so many other LGBTQ organizations throughout the State of Ohio, strongly advocate that no one should have to fear discrimination where they live, work or play because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Unfortunately, this is still an all too common occurrence in our state.
Take action—create change and contact Senate President Harris to move HB 176 through committee and call for a vote.
You can email Senate President Harris at: SD19@senate.state.oh.us or call at 614/466-8086.