OHIO: Mass Wedding In Cleveland
The Advocate reports:
More than 200 gay and lesbian couples participated in a mass wedding in Cleveland, Ohio on Saturday, making it possibly the “largest illegal mass wedding ever held,” according to organizers.
While some of the couples participating in the ceremony at the Galleria have already wed in states that recognize same-sex marriage, many said they were at the event to prove a point.
“There are over a thousand benefits available to married couples by the federal government that are denied to same-sex couples,” participant Rick Starn said to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
If marriage equality is ever legalized in Ohio, organizers said some of the paperwork from the ceremony on Saturday could be used by gay couples in obtaining marriage licenses.
OHIO: Bullied Teen & Mother Still Fighting For Change
The Advocate reports:
Months after a teenage boy was brutally beaten in school for being gay, he, his mother, and the American Civil Liberties Union are urging Congress to pass a law that would protect LGBT students from bullying and discrimination.Zach Huston and Becky Collins told The Advocatetheir story in November after Huston’s classroom assault was caught on tape. Several months later, the family is still fighting to make the school a safer place for all LGBT students. According to the ACLU, 90% of LGBT high school students have reported an experience of harassment at school within the last year, and two thirds have said they don’t feel safe at school because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
On Thursday, Ohio governor John Kasich signed the Jessica Logan Act into law, boosting training for antibullying policies in schools. “All children should be able to go to school without fear of violence or intimidation, but that is simply not the case in Ohio,” said ACLU of Ohio executive director Christine Link. “While the Jessica Logan Act is a positive first step towards protecting all students, state officials failed to specifically protect those students who are most vulnerable.”
USA: Gay Candidates Elected Across Nation
A small tidal wave of openly gay candidates have been swept into office today. In addition to those mentioned in earlier posts, here’s a recap of various contests.
New Jersey: First openly gay black GOP mayor in U.S. history.
North Carolina: First openly gay city council member for Charlotte.
Ohio: First openly gay city council member for Cincinnati.
Indiana: First openly gay city council member for Indianapolis.
Montana: Out lesbian city council member for Missoula.
Arizona: Daniel Hernandez, hero in Giffords shooting, elected to Tucson school board.
OHIO: Gay Student Assaulted By Bully, Attack Caught On Cell Phone
Equality Ohio sends us this press release:
This week, a 15-year-old teenager was severely beaten in his high school class room for being gay. The attack occurred at Union-Scioto High School in Chillicothe, Ohio, and was caught on camera as fellow class members watched one teen wait for the victim to enter the room, push him to the ground and continually punch him in the face. Two days prior to the attack, the perpetrator harassed the victim via Facebook regarding his sexual orientation. The victim has suffered a possible concussion and dental damage. The attacker was suspended from school for just three days.Local news interviewed the boy’s mother.
Union-Scioto has no policy in place that specifically protects students from being bullied or attacked based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The Union-Scioto Local School District does have a policy that prohibits harassment based on sex, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, among others, but it does not specifically protect against harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
OHIO: Gay Blood Ban Doesn’t Deter The Need To Help
The Advocate reports:
While gay and bisexual men who have had sex with other men are not allowed to donate blood, some in Ohio are finding alternative ways to help others in need.
Friends and family are scheduled to donate blood to the Red Cross on behalf of men who want to give blood but have been banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because of their sexual history. The FDA bars any man who has had sex with another man since 1977 from giving blood. The event, titled the Brothers in Blood drive in Columbus, Ohio, will take place Oct. 13, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
The Red Cross, which is administering the event, has been openly against the ban, and has worked with Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry to change the policy. Gay men in the area who would like to donate blood once the ban is lifted are encouraged to contact the American Red Cross of Central Ohio. The organization will reach out to the donors for a blood drive once the ban is lifted.
Picture Caption: Mackenzie Worrall, 24, donated blood until he became sexually active in college. He’s recruiting at least 10 people to donate blood on his behalf
Ohio: Gay Rights Bill Resubmitted
Dayton Daily News reports:
A local Republican lawmaker introduced legislation Tuesday that would ban discrimination in housing and employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
It makes good business sense to protect the housing and employment rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Ohioans, said state Rep. Ross McGregor, R-Springfield.
“If we’re really intent of creating a 21st-century economy, then we have to be welcoming to those people with the talent and creativity to take these jobs,” McGregor, an officer in a family manufacturing company, said at a press conference outside the Statehouse.
He and Rep. Nickie Antonio, D-Lakewood, the first openly gay state-level elected official, are joint sponsors of House Bill 335, which bans discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The legislation is identical to a bill that passed the House in the last session of the General Assembly, but died in the Senate.
Democrats then controlled the House and Republicans were in charge of the Senate.
Just five Republicans voted for the bill that time. One was Rep. Terry Blair, R-Washington Twp., a businessman, who said he also supports the bill this time.
OHIO: Eight Horses Burned To Death In Anti-Gay Arson Attack
Eight horses were burned alive in their barn this weekend in an arson attack on a property owned by a gay man. The words “Fags are freaks” were found spray-painted on the side of the barn.
Seven adult horses and one foal died as a result of an arson fire at 874 West Richards Road in McConnelsville just after 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. Owner Brent Whitehouse said he woke to discover the barn engulfed in flames and immediately called 911, but it was too late. “I couldn’t get the door open I could still hear the horses kicking and I tried as hard as I could to get them out and I just couldn’t get them out in time,” he said. Those who know Brent believe this was a hate crime, explicit words relating to his sexuality were spray painted in large white letters on the side of the barn before the fire was started. “They obviously don’t know him very well, because he’s a sweet-hearted person and how he lives his lifestyle is nobody’s business but his own,” said friend Bobbie Nelson.