Greetings and good tidings!
We hope that this finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy this holiday season. Once this pandemic is behind us, we look forward to continuing our monthly support meetings in Medina, in person. We are very grateful for our friends at PFLAG Cleveland and Akron, TransAlive/Margie’s Hope, Transcend and other groups who hold virtual meetings, and welcome friends of OutSupport.
A big holiday present was given to the many transgender individuals who were born in the state of Ohio this past week, and we couldn’t be happier! A Federal judge has ruled that those individuals can now change the gender marker on their birth certificates, as has been the case for a long time in 48 other states! WooHoo!! We would invite you to contact our friends at www.TransOhio.org or www.equalityohio.org for up to date details about what you may need to do to change your gender marker. This has been so long in coming to Ohio!
2020 also had a Supreme Court ruling that bars discrimination to LGBTQIA employees, a major victory for LGBTQIA Americans! Employers can no longer fire someone simply because they are gay or transgender. While there is still a road ahead for LGBTQIA in terms of housing and public accommodation, this is a major step forward!
Additionally, the Supreme Court denied a petition to hear a case involving the rights of same-sex spouses to appear on their children’s birth certificates. This is so important for couples with children.
Our friends at Equality Ohio worked with several jurisdictions in Ohio to provide nondiscrimination ordinances, now numbering 32 jurisdictions and 1 county providing protections to residents and visitors protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations. There are several more in the works, and meanwhile, The Ohio Fairness Act had additional hearings at the Ohio Statehouse. Maybe 2021 will be the year for that? We hope so!!!
So, while I’m sure you can provide your own adjective to describe 2020, there were some very positive bright spots for the LGBTQIA/Ally community this year. While PRIDE events were postponed in 2020, I truly hope that we all have time to celebrate all these successes in 2021…stay tuned!!
Wishing you all a healthy, happy holiday season!
Sandy and the OutSupport team