SPECIAL ALL-PRIDE VERSION
WILL KOHLER: Known as “Wolfie” to his followers, the local blogger operates the always provocative Back2Stonewall site. Besides keeping Queen City queers and their friends up to date on gay-related news from around the world, Kohler also offers sharp commentary on what he sees as deficiencies in national gay leadership, provides historical context for current events, links to interesting videos and occasionally throws in a little eye candy to boot.
Any LGBTQ Cincinnatian who wants to consider herself or himself knowledgeable must visit Kohler’s site, and often. You might not always agree with him, but he'll make you think and you’ll have a good time.
CHARLIE WINBURN: After an absence of almost a decade, the flamboyant and fast-talking Republican politician returned to Cincinnati City Council in 2009.
In his day job as a pastor at a College Hill church, Winburn often preaches about how his parishioners can get rich (while asking them for donations, natch), casts out demons from allegedly possessed people and writes books like the one admonishing husbands that a wife “must be taught what her boundaries are.”
What many LGBTQ Cincinnatians especially dislike about Winburn, though, is his campaigning in the 1990s for the infamous Article 12 and his frequent work behind the scenes with Citizens for Community Values (CCV), cooking up more hateful legislation. For shame, good brother!
CHRIS FINNEY: A Hyde Park attorney, Finney deserves a special spot in the Hall of Shame for his legal work — in conjunction with CCV — as the architect of Article 12. The charter amendment passed by voters in 1993 (and repealed 11 years later) prohibited city officials from passing any laws that included sexual orientation as a protected class.
While testifying in court in defense of Article 12, he was asked why sexual behavior should affect who can eat in a restaurant or be employed by a company. Finney replied, “Because there may be some who don’t want their family dining next to a homosexual couple whose actions they find offensive.”
We promise we’ll exercise good table manners, Mr. Finney, including refraining from using profanity against you.
GARY WRIGHT: These days, the former Procter & Gamble employee operates his own small business and mostly keeps active with Queen City Bike, a bicycling advocacy group. But a few years ago, as the high-profile chairman of Citizens to Restore Fairness, the group that marshaled various local forces to campaign for Article 12’s repeal, Wright not only helped give hope to Cincinnati’s then-embattled gay community but also provided a much-needed rational and progressive image of the city to the national news media covering the issue.
It’s because of people like Wright that young professionals — gay or otherwise — will decide to make Cincinnati their home and help the city thrive once again.