Election News - Originally Posted On: 11/8/2011Prior to the recent election on November 8, 2011, Pride Alliance Columbus sent an important position question to every candidate running for Mayor and City Council. According to City of Columbus Municipal Code (9.24.020), also known as the Human Rights Ordinance, the citizens of Columbus are protected by law against discrimination in education, employment, public accommodations, and the acquisition of property and housing either through purchase or rental. A list of the protected classes covered by this ordinance is included in section B, that is: "The practice of denying these civil rights to a person by reason of race, religion, color, sex, pregnancy, disability, national origin or ancestry of such individual is contrary to the principles of equal opportunity stated in this chapter and shall be considered discriminatory practices."
The gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender (GLBT) community is noticeably missing from this list. The GLBT community in Columbus would like to see sexual orientation and gender identity added to the list of classes protected by this ordinance. An amendment to the municipal code requires action by the City Council therefore we asked this question:
To City Council candidates:
If you are elected to the Columbus City Council, would you publically support the addition of ‘sexual orientation and gender identity’ to Municipal Code 9.24? If not, please explain your answer.
To Mayoral candidates: (An amendment to the municipal code requires action by the City Council. While the Mayor does not have a vote on an amendment such as this, the Mayor does control the agenda of the City Council and can put it before the Council for discussion and a vote.)
If you are elected to the office of Mayor of Columbus, would you publically support the addition of ‘sexual orientation and gender identity’ to Municipal Code 9.24 and work on behalf of the GLBT community with the City Council to see this amendment succeed? If not, please explain your answer.
We received responses to our question from 14 out of the 18 candidates. Below you will see the answers we received from the winning candidates including mayor elect Kristen Brown, and city council elect Ryan Brand, Dascal Bunch, Jim Lienhoop, Frank Miller, and Tim Shuffett. Aaron Hankins, Frank Jerome and Greg Noel did not bother to respond.