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Equality OH News - EHEA/DOMA

posted Feb 23, 2011, 1:16 PM by Michael Chanak

in this issue:

Breaking News!!!
The Obama Administration has just announced its assessment that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA") is unconstitutional and that it will no longer defend the Act in court.  The statement released by Attorney General Eric Holder can be read here.  Equality Ohio will keep you updated on futher developments related to DOMA.

1.  Representatives Ross McGregor (R - Springfield) and Nickie Antonio (D - Lakewood) to reintroduce EHEA in Ohio House - The Equal Housing and Employment Act (EHEA), which would prohibit discrimination in housing and employment on the basis of sexual orientation, is expected to be introduced in the House by Reps. Ross McGregor (R) and Nickie Antonio (D).  Equality Ohio met recently with Reps. McGregor and Antonio, and we will be working closely with them on navigating the bill through the current General Assembly.  Last year, EHEA was the first pro-equality bill to pass any chamber of the Ohio General Assembly, but it stalled in the State Senate.  We have established a base of support for EHEA in both the House and Senate, but it is extremely important for our community to mobilize in support of this bill to broaden its support.  Lobby Day on May 18th is an important opportunity for you to talk to your representatives about this and other pro-equality legislation, and we hope that you will join us then.  We also ask that you reach out to friends and family who live in areas where the current legislators are not supportive of EHEA so that they understand their constituents support it.  In the coming months, we will specifically identify those representatives who we believe are potential supporters and do targeted outreach in those communities.  Click here to read a recent article about EHEA.

2.  2011 CAUSE Conference Save the Date and Call for Proposals - April 1-3! Hosted by Equality Ohio at Columbus State Community College (CSCC) - tentative schedule includes an invitation to attend Fusion Friday at The Ohio State University on April 1, conference sessions Saturday and Sunday (ending at noon), and an optional group outing to Gallery Hop in Columbus's Short North Saturday night.

The planning committee is currently accepting proposals for workshops, caucuses, panels and presentations.  Please submit the following to by Friday, March 12:

-Detailed description of the topic
-Information covered
-Goals or what attendees should get out of the session
-Required supplies (i.e. a computer, projector, etc.)
-Brief outline

Please limit presentations to 1 to 1.5 hours in length.

Register for the conference here.

Presented by the Hermes Foundation (Sustaining Sponsor)

Equality Ohio honors the many faces of our movement during Black History Month.

Alvin Ailey, Audre Lorde, Barbara Jordan, RuPaul and Bayard Rustin

Black History Month Profiles here.

Same-sex parenting cases are beginning to reach the Ohio Supreme Court. 

Updates: Case Number 2010 - 0276 (Re: Lucy Kathleen Mullen) - See oral arguments at Ohio Supreme Court - more.

Here is the case that is referred to in the testimony in Re: Lucy Kathleen Mullen.  Case Number 2001 - 0625 (Teri J. Bonfield and Shelly M. Zachritz) - See oral arguments at Ohio Supreme Court  - more.

3.  Gill Foundation invests $25,000 in Equality Ohio through matching gift - In November 2010, Equality Ohio was awarded a matching grant of $25,000 from the Gill Foundation.  For every new monthly donor to our Equality Council - the leadership giving group of Equality Ohio of $100 or more per month - the Gill Foundation will match the first $500 - more.
4.  Local Action Team Trainings for Lobby Day for Equality 2011 -

Join us for a Local Action Team Training and get information about the EHEA and other legislative priorities for this year, learn what progress has been made in the past year with your legislator, and practice and prepare with others from your area in advance of meeting with your representative.

Northwest Ohio

March 26th,  10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Village Church - Register Here

Bowling Green
March 26th,  2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church -
Register Here

Western Ohio - Dayton
April 16th, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Cross Creek Community Church -
Register Here

Eastern Ohio - Mt. Vernon 
May 7th, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
The Social Room, 1st Congregational United Church of Christ - Register Here

Southeast Ohio - Athens 
May 7th, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 pm. 
Athens Community Gateway for the Arts - Register Here

Northeast Ohio - Akron
May 8th, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Student Union Room 316 - Register Here  (Parking is not a problem) Cleveland, Canton, and Youngstown are being planned - time, date and place TBD

Central Ohio - Columbus
May 14th, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Stonewall Center on High - Register Here

Southwest Ohio - Cincinnati and Oxfod are being planned for the weekend of April 9-10.  Time and place TBD

Others are being considered as time and schedule allow.  Want a training in your area? Contact

Our State Policies (Reminder):

The Ohio Department of Public Safety created the Next of Kin Registry that allows residents to declare their next of kin for the benefit of first responders at the site of an accident.  For more information
click here.

The Ohio Department of Public Safety Bureau of Motor Vehicles changed their policy to allow pre-operative transgender Ohioans to change the gende
r marker on their driver’s license.  For more information click here.

Effective in 2010, the Ohio Department of Insurance succeeded in changing the State Income Tax Code to stop charging State Income Tax to the employee on employer paid portions of domestic partner benefits.  Spousal benefits are exempt from both State and Federal Income Taxes.  Ohio’s same-sex couples still have to pay Federal Income Tax on these benefits.  Ask your human resource professional or tax preparer for more information.

5.  Clergy Call for Equality - This May 22-24, we encourage you to join HRC’s Religion and Faith Program and hundreds of fellow religious leaders from across the country to build the faithful movement for LGBT justice.  Now more than ever we need religious leaders like you to keep equality at the forefront of our nation’s conscience.  Sign up now for the 2011 Clergy Call for Justice and Equality in Washington, DC and  gather with colleagues from Ohio and beyond to organize, learn, worship and bring your witness for justice to Capitol Hill.  Learn more at

 Statewide Calendar
Send your calendar suggestions to


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