Friday, August 21, 2009

Bowling Green, OH Passes Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Bowling Green, OH is the latest municipality (and 18th in Ohio) to offer protection to its GLBT citizens, including the areas of employment, housing, and education.

The vote came on Monday night. The city council unanimously approved the fair housing ordinance and passed the education and employment ordinance by a vote of 6 to 1.

At a standing room only meeting, both sides debated for more than two hours.

"One person being turned away because they're being discriminated against is one too many," says Larry Sorrells, Bowling Green City Council.

The ordinance sets forth a detailed process for handling complaints, using investigation, conciliation, a hearing, and an additional conciliation, before going to a complaint process that could lead to up to $1,000 in fines. Failure to comply at that point would be a fourth degree misdemeanor. The process also provides for judicial review or civil cause of action in extreme cases. This section is modeled after Cincinnati’s ordinance.

Because the mayor is on vacation, Council President of Council Megan Newlove became acting mayor Tuesday.

Newlove has said she plans to sign the ordinances, according to the Sentinel Tribune. But several council members said that they expect the ordinances to be challenged by referendum petitions.

Petitions challenging the ordinances would have to be filed within 30 days of the time the ordinances are signed.

1 comment:

Janet said...

Opponents have now filed petitions. If a sufficient number of signatures turn out to be valid, the issue will be on the Nov. 2010 ballot. In the meantime, the ordinance cannot be enforced. I would welcome PFLAG's assistance in educating the pro-discrimination citizens of our town. See http://www.sent-trib.com/stnew/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4708:petitions-filed-in-bg&catid=1:fp&Itemid=115