Budish-Backed County Code Would Prohibit Discrimination Based On Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish speaks at his inauguration in 2015. [Nick Castele / ideastream]
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This evening, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish will introduce legislation broadening the county’s anti-discriminination code to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. 

The legislation has been on the county executive’s agenda for years.

The Ohio House passed similar legislation when Budish was Speaker in 2009. But the measure didn’t make it past the Senate.

Now Budish has another chance to implement the legislation -- on a smaller scale.

“When somebody seeks to rent an apartment or get a job, they should be treated fairly – like everybody else and not be allowed to be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation,” said Budish.

During his State of the County address earlier this year, he said the county was considering anti-discrimination measures. This ordinance is one of them.

“I’ve been working on this for quite a long time,” said Budish.

The legislation would allow an individual to file a complaint if they feel discriminated against in housing, employment, or in a place of public accommodations.

Council members Dale Miller, Michael Houser, and council president Dan Brady are sponsors of the legislation.

Brady said this legislation is another step forward for civil rights.

“As a 64-year-old, I’ve been there to watch the whole thing,” said Brady. “I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

The ordinance would also create a 3-person County Commission on Human Rights that would investigate discrimination complaints and impose fines.

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