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Cincinnati group
abandons fight to repeal pro-gay law

Cincinnati group
abandons fight to repeal pro-gay law

A Cincinnati group has given up its efforts to have voters decide whether gay people should be protected under the city's antidiscrimination ordinance. The group Equal Rights Not Special Rights withdrew its petitions for the November ballot on Tuesday because many of the signatures collected were obvious forgeries, chairman Phil Burress said. Some of the signatures opponents planned to challenge included those of Cuban president Fidel Castro and Cincinnati Reds owner Bob Castellini. The withdrawal may mark the end of a 14-year battle in the city over whether gay people should be protected from discrimination. "This shows how much the city has changed," said Gary Wright, cochairman of Citizens to Restore Fairness, a group that supports gay rights. The Cincinnati city council decided in March to add protections for gay and transgender people to its human rights ordinance, which also protects people from discrimination based on race, gender, age, color, religion, disability status, marital status, and ethnic, national, or Appalachian regional origin. The amended law didn't take effect while Equal Rights Not Special Rights tried to place the measure before voters. The original ordinance that passed in 1992 included protections for gays. Soon after that, residents voted for an amendment that no longer had gays as a protected class. Voters changed their minds in a 2004 election, however, which led to the city council's vote. (AP)

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