Lakewood City Council to Vote on Human Rights Ordinance | The City of Lakewood, Ohio

Lakewood City Council to Vote on Human Rights Ordinance

June 20, 2016

Lakewood City Council will vote Monday on proposed Ordinance 1-16 to expand the city’s nondiscrimination protections for LGBT citizens. The ordinance will forbid discrimination in private employment and public accommodation based on one’s sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

Furthermore, Ordinance 1-16 will expand current nondiscrimination laws in housing to include gender identity/expression.

“The ordinance is important for several reasons,” said Councilmember Dan O’Malley (Ward 4), who introduced the legislation. “The first is that real discrimination exists for our LGBT citizens, and we have an obligation to protect against that kind of harm. Secondly, this ordinance sends a clear message once and for all that Lakewood is a welcoming place where everyone is a part of the community.”

Council President Sam O’Leary (Ward 2) and Councilmember Cindy Marx (At-Large) introduced a similar ordinance in 2015. “It is long past time for Lakewood’s LGBT citizens to be fully protected from discrimination,” O’Leary said. “I’m proud that council is taking this major step toward equality.”

Mayor Michael Summers added his support of the measure. “Lakewood is welcoming and accepting of anyone who chooses to live, work, play or raise a family here,” said Summers. “This ordinance solidifies that.”

The ordinance has also received widespread community support:

“We believe this ordinance is good for business. Recent research indicates an inclusive approach to service and employment is critical to establishing a positive work culture, which leads to higher productivity and higher profits. We are in support of this legislation and commend council for taking measure to ensure equality for all its citizens.” – Patricia Ryan, President/CEO, Lakewood Chamber of Commerce

“This ordinance illustrates Lakewood’s enduring commitment to being a welcoming community. It is not a symbolic gesture; indeed, because Ohio does not treat LGBTQ people equally in state laws, Lakewood is taking real action to ensure that everyone is treated fairly. I am thrilled that Lakewood is poised to become the 15th city in Ohio to provide comprehensive legal equality for the LGBTQ community.” – Alana Jochum, Executive Director, Equality Ohio 

Lakewood City Council will meet Monday, June 20th at 7:30 p.m. in the City Hall Auditorium.