Athens City Council adopted a resolution Tuesday supporting the Bipartisan Ohio Fairness Act, a bill that would amend existing state anti-discrimination laws to include protections for LGBT rights.
If passed by state legislature, this act would amend the Ohio Discrimination Laws to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The resolution in support of the bill was introduced by all members of Council and read by Peter Kotses, D-At Large.
The resolution noted City Council’s continued support of LGBT rights in Athens.
“In 1998 this council reaffirmed its commitment to diversity and inclusion by prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation,” Kotses said
Athens already has protections for LGBT individuals. The city added the categories of gender identity and expression to the city’s non-discrimination policy in 2010.
“What I like about this resolution is that it does go back and give that historical sense that this city has been supportive for a long time,” Kotses said.
delfin bautista, former LGBT Center director and a member of the board for the Southeastern Ohio Rainbow Alliance said that Athens has stood up for the LGBT community in the past.
“The city made a statement supporting our right to get married. Now they’re supporting our right to hold jobs and have a place to live,” bautista said.
City Council also passed an ordinance granting a right-of-way permit to Ohio University to erect a historical marker on Mulberry Street near Baker Center and South Court Street.
The historical marker will be for Christopher Davis, a black man who was a victim of lynching in 1881, according to a previous Post report.
Correction: A previous version of this report incorrectly stated the law city council voted to support. The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.