Cleveland OKs Protections for Transgender Employees of City Contractors

Supporters of Cleveland's new transgender protections hold signs at the end of the council meeting. (Nick Castele)
Supporters of Cleveland's new transgender protections hold signs at the end of the council meeting. (Nick Castele)
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This is the less high-profile part of a pair of measures recently introduced for council consideration. The other half -- allowing transgender people to use the restroom of their preference free of interference -- is still in committee.

But this ordinance passed Monday night prevents city contractors from denying someone a job or a promotion because of gender identity or expression.

It updates existing Cleveland laws that protect transgender people seeking employment and housing.

Alana Jochum with LGBT-rights group Equality Ohio welcomes it.

"In 2009, council tried to expand its protections for the LGBT community by including gender identity and expression as a protected group in most places, but there are a few places that were missed," Jochum said. "Today's passage corrects those pieces."

And the new law would shield transgender people from "ethnic intimidation," a criminal charge of menacing someone because of their race, religion, sexual orientation or other attributes -- now including gender identity or expression.

There's no date set yet for the other half of this legislative push, the part dealing with restrooms, to come before a full council vote.

An earlier version of this story misspelled Alana Jochum's first name. It is Alana, not Alaina.

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