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Group blocks
Cincinnati antidiscrimination law from taking effect

Group blocks
Cincinnati antidiscrimination law from taking effect

A group opposing a Cincinnati ordinance update that extends discrimination protection to gay people blocked the change from taking effect by asking that the matter go before voters. Citizens for Community Values said on Friday they submitted signatures of 14,000 to 15,000 city residents who want to see the issue placed on the November ballot. The Hamilton County board of elections must verify the signatures before the petition can be accepted. About 7,000 valid signatures would be required to get the measure on the city ballot. "This is a very divisive issue, and we voters ought to have a say," said David Miller, vice president of public policy for the group, which also worked for the state's 2004 ban on same-sex marriage. The group also in 1993 succeeded in getting voters to pass a charter amendment banning such gay rights laws, the only such prohibition in the nation. Voters tossed out the charter amendment in 2004. That cleared the way for city council's 8-1 vote in March to add protections for gay and transgender people to its human rights ordinance, which protects people from discrimination based on race, gender, age, color, religion, disability status, marital status, or ethnic, national, or Appalachian regional origin. The amended law would have taken effect Monday. If the latest challenge gets to the ballot, Gary Wright of Citizens to Restore Fairness will head up a campaign to persuade voters to keep the revised ordinance. "The city's really changed, and they don't get that," Wright said of the petitioners. "They're living in the past, and they're trying to drag us back with them. Voters said that already. They'll say that again this fall." (AP)

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