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Equality Ohio Opens Free LGBTQ Legal Clinic

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Karen Desuyo

An Ohio LGBTQ advocacy group has launched a new service to help residents with legal questions and problems.

Equality Ohio is offering a free clinic to guide LGBTQ residents through legal dilemmas they may face. Managing Legal Director Maya Simek said her office gets many questions related to discrimination as well as divorces, adoptions and other family law.

She said the clinic will direct residents to resources they can trust.

“We want to be able to provide that option for redress for members of the LGBTQ community, both internally within the scope of Equality Ohio, while also creating external resources from our members of the profession, members of the community, and a list of folks that people can look at and know that they will be safe going to," Simek said. "I think that is just so, so important.”

The clinic is funded through multiple grants. Simek said it fills an important gap in Ohio’s legal system.

“People were not familiar with issues within the LGBTQ community or were not comfortable with them, so when they went seeking assistance, they weren’t necessarily sure that they were going to be seen and respected for who they were,” Simek said.

The clinic can be accessed by calling 855-LGBT-LAW. Residents who need assistance can also fill out an intake form online.

Anna joined ideastream in 2019, where she reports on health news for WCPN and WVIZ in Cleveland. She has also served as an associate producer for NewsDepth. Before that, Anna was a 2019 Carnegie-Knight News21 fellow at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.