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Anti-Discrimination Proposal Nears a Vote in Cuyahoga County

Sexual orientation and gender identity would be added to Cuyahoga County's current anti-discrimination laws under a proposal being considered by the county council.
Sexual orientation and gender identity would be added to Cuyahoga County's current anti-discrimination laws under a proposal being considered by the county council.

Cuyahoga County council members will soon decide whether to approve legislation that adds legal protections for LGBTQ residents.

The legislation would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the county’s current anti-discrimination laws. If approved, it would be illegal to deny opportunities like housing and employment to Cuyahoga County residents in the LGBTQ community.

Communications Director Mary Louise Madigan says council members as well as County Executive Armond Budish introduced the legislation in June to promote inclusion and diversity in the county.

"It’s to support equal rights for everybody, and until there’s legislation that supports it, we feel as though there is something missing," she said.

The ordinance would also establish a three-person human rights commission to hear and investigate discrimination complaints. Members of the commission would be appointed by an executive director. Madigan says that will likely be the county's inclusion officer Luis Cartagena.

Madigan expects council to vote on the proposal at its September 25 meeting. The legislation needs six votes to pass, and five council members have already co-sponsored it.

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