Humans — straight or gay, black or white, Democrat or Republican — often are creatures driven by ego, power or a need for control and inevitably will find ways to organize themselves around common interests and goals. It should come as little surprise, then, that Cincinnati's gay power structure didn't react well to a recent CityBeat article detailing how Equality Cincinnati strong-armed itself into talks last year about establishing a domestic partnership registry.
Some activists believe the struggle for gay rights in Cincinnati has reached a drastic turning point. During Cincinnati's Gay Pride festival in July, Equality Cincinnati launched a "symbolic" Domestic Partner Registry (DPR). Unlike the registries enacted by three other Ohio cities, the local one wouldn't have any official sanction or entail legal rights, and some activists say Equality Cincinnati has thwarted their efforts for a real DPR.
The last decade has seen the repeal of Article 12 and adoption of the Human Rights Ordinance, both huge victories for Cincinnati's LGBTQ community. But since Article 12's repeal in 2004, Cincinnati Police have processed just seven hate crime charges based on sexual orientation, compared to 19 in Columbus in 2007 alone. Local gay rights advocates say the incidents are being under-reported or under-pursued by police.
I’ve been covering City Councilwoman Leslie Ghiz as a reporter and columnist since her first council campaign back in 2005. On a personal level, she can be funny and intelligent and prone to uttering newsworthy quotes. Like every public official I've covered, sometimes I agree with her, sometimes I don't. During this campaign season, unfortunately, Ghiz presented herself as a much harder-edged, angry and occasionally rude candidate.