by German Lopez
90 days ago
Christians, Muslims, Jews come together to support marriage equality
Some of Cincinnati’s religious leaders gathered at a press conference today to endorse the Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment, an amendment from FreedomOhio that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state.
Pastor Mike Underhill of the Nexus United Church of Christ
(UCC) in Butler County, Rabbi Miriam Terlinchamp of Temple Sholom,
Pamela Taylor of Muslims for Progressive Values and
Mike Moroski, who recently lost his job as assistant principal at Purcell Marian High School for
standing up for LGBT rights (“Testing Faith,” issue of Feb. 13), all took part in the event — showcasing a diversity of
religious support for marriage equality.
In a statement, Underhill said UCC was the first major Christian denomination to embrace marriage equality. He added, “All people have the right to lead lives that express love, justice, mutuality, commitment, consent and pleasure.”
The sentiment was echoed by the other religious leaders.
Moroski said in a statement, “I’m
elated to stand here today with these wonderful faith leaders, who
truly, deeply and spiritually believe that two people who love one
another deserve the right to be married.”
FreedomOhio is aiming to get its
amendment on the ballot as soon as November, according to Ian James, the
“Our balanced amendment gives a loving same-gender couple
the right to marry while respecting a religious institution’s freedom to
choose to recognize and perform that marriage or not,” James said in a
CityBeat previously covered the Freedom to Marry Ohio amendment and some of its hurdles with other LGBT groups (“The Evolution of Equality,” issue of Nov. 28).
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has revoked
operating permits from D&L Energy and Hardrock Excavating after they
were both discovered to have illegally dumped thousands of gallons of
fracking waste into a storm drain in Youngstown, which eventually
emptied into the Mahoning River. CINCINNATI -2
by German Lopez
99 days ago
Obama gives State of the Union, archdiocese defends LGBT firing, Qualls against HUD sale
President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union speech
yesterday. During the speech, Obama outlined fairly liberal proposals for the economy, climate change, gun control and immigration. He also suggested raising the minimum wage to $9 and attaching it to rising cost of living standards. The Washington Post analyzed the proposals here. To watch a bunch of old people clap too much while the
president outlines policy proposals that will likely never pass a
gridlocked Congress, click here.
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is standing firm
in its firing of Purcell Marian High School administrator Mike Moroski.
The termination came after Moroski publicly stated his support for
same-sex marriage on his blog — a position that contradicts the Catholic
Church’s teachings. CityBeat covered Moroski’s case in this week’s news story, and gay marriage was covered more broadly in a previous in-depth story.
Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls wants to stop
the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from selling
768 housing units in Walnut Hills, Avondale and Millvale. Qualls says
the sale is “eerily similar” to a sale dating back to 2007, which
resulted in dropping property values and blighted buildings. She argues local buyers should get a chance to take up the properties before HUD makes the sale to a New York company.
State Treasurer Josh Mandel is up to his old tricks again. In a letter to Ohio legislators Monday, Mandel, a Republican, opposed the Medicaid expansion,
claiming, “There is no free money.” But for the state, the Medicaid
expansion is essentially free money. The federal government will cover
all the costs of the expansion for the first three years, then phase down to paying 90 percent of the costs by 2020 — essentially, free
John Kasich, another Republican, has backed the Medicaid expansion, claiming it makes
financial sense in the long term. In 2012, Mandel lost the race for Ohio’s Senate seat after he ran
a notoriously dishonest campaign against U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Financing details for the Brent Spence Bridge are due in March.
The details will provide much-wanted information for local residents
cautious about the new tolling scheme, which will help pay for the bridge’s
Cincinnati officials and residents celebrated
the work completed near the Horseshoe Casino at an event yesterday.
Mayor Mark Mallory highlighted the infrastructure improvements made to
accommodate the casino, calling the work a successful collaboration
between city government, the casino and residents.
The Ohio Resource Center has a new website for K-12 digital content. The website, ilearnOhio, is supposed to provide parents and students with the tools needed for online distance learning.
Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill is being sued
for not paying rent. The restaurant claims it’s financially viable, but
it’s holding the rent in escrow after its landlord allegedly violated the
leasing agreement. The establishment was one of the first to open at
A public Ohio school district is fighting a lawsuit in order to keep its portrait of Jesus.
The school district claims the portrait is owned by a student club and
is “private speech,” but opponents argue the portrait violates
separation of church and state.
Update on the Alamo situation at Tower Place Mall: Only one tenant remains.
The unofficial spokesman of Heart Attack Grill, the infamous Las Vegas restaurant, died of a heart attack.
Americans expect a human mission to Mars in the next 20 years, but that’s probably because they don’t know how little funding NASA gets.
An asteroid will barely miss
Earth on Feb. 15. If it were to hit, it would generate the explosive
equivalent of 2,500 kilotons of TNT. In comparison, the nuclear bomb
that hit Hiroshima during World War 2 generated a measly equivalent of
17 kilotons of TNT.
by German Lopez
100 days ago
LGBT supporter loses job, Terhar remains board president, local schools scrubbed data
A Purcell Marian High School administrator was fired
for declaring his public support for same-sex marriage. Mike Moroski,
who was the assistant principal at the Catholic school, wrote about his
support for LGBT equality on his personal blog.
Following the blog post, Moroski claims he was given an ultimatum by
the Archdiocese of Cincinnati to resign or recant his statements. CityBeat covered same-sex marriage and the amendment that could bring marriage equality to Ohio here.
A board vote failed to remove State Board of Education President Debe Terhar from her position. In response, Ohio Democrats filed a lawsuit
seeking access to her cell phone and other records. Terhar has been
receiving heavy criticism for a Facebook post that compared President
Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler. CityBeat wrote about Terhar’s ridiculous Facebook post here.
Cincinnati Public Schools and Winton Woods City Schools were among nine city school districts found to be scrubbing attendance data
by the state auditor. The school districts claim most the errors were
simple mistakes, not intentional manipulation of data. Both the auditor
and schools agree state policy is too confusing and must change.
The city of Cincinnati is beginning the process of sorting through construction bids for the streetcar. Three bids ranging from $71 million to $87 million have already come to light, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.
The bids could push up the price tag on the streetcar, but
Meg Olberding, city spokesperson, cautions the process is barely starting. CityBeat covered the streetcar and how it relates to the mayor’s race here.
Cincinnati is speeding up the demolitions of condemned buildings this year, particularly buildings near schools and family zones.
A new report from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services found
employment in the shale industry was up 17 percent in the first quarter
of 2012. Critics caution the jobs aren’t worth the risks —
pointing to a number of environmental and health concerns related to hydraulic
fracturing, or “fracking.” CityBeat wrote about fracking and its extensive problems here.
One in 25 students in Columbus schools are restrained or secluded.
The state’s lax seclusion policies have been under heavy criticism in
the past year following the discovery that school staff were using
seclusion for convenience, not just to restrain students.
On Wednesday, Metro staff will be holding a security
exercise meant to gauge counterterrorism capabilities. Metro bus service
will not be affected.
The Horseshoe Casino pays homage to Liuzhou, China — Cincinnati’s sister city of 25 years.
The chief curator resigned from the Cincinnati Art Museum.
A Cincinnati woman was charged with helping her daughter beat up a student during a classroom brawl.
Curiosity is officially the first robot to drill another planet.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Fast-food giant Burger King admitted that some of its beef
patties sold in the U.K. contained traces of horsemeat thanks to a
negligent supplier, although it insists those patties never made it to
restaurants. WORLD -2
0 Comments · Wednesday, December 19, 2012
LGBT rights are becoming “the new normal”
in corporate America, but American Financial Group and Western &
Southern Financial Group are apparently exceptions.
by German Lopez
Western & Southern, American Financial Group lag behind national progress
LGBT rights are becoming “the new normal” in corporate
America, but American Financial Group and Western & Southern Financial Group are
apparently exceptions. Both Cincinnati-based Fortune 500 companies
received a 0 percent for LGBT policies in the 2012 Corporate Equality
Index (CEI) from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).The index uses LGBT-related corporate policies to determine scores: non-discrimination policies including sexual
orientation and gender identity, company-provided domestic partner
health insurance, equal health coverage for transgender individuals,
organizational LGBT cultural competency, engagement in actions that
undermine LGBT equality and other categories. The full rankings, dubbed a
“Buyer’s Guide,” can be found here.
In the Greater Cincinnati area, Cincinnati-based Omnicare,
Covington-based Ashland and Highland Heights-based General Cable fared
only slightly better than American Financial and Western & Southern. The three companies received 15 points for at
least including sexual orientation in non-discrimination policies.
Other Cincinnati-based Fortune 500 companies did much
better in HRC’s rankings. Procter & Gamble got a 90 percent, Macy’s
got a 90 percent, Kroger got an 85 percent and Fifth Third Bank got an
85 percent. The high scores show some companies are providing more to LGBT individuals than local, state and federal governments through equal access to health care and other benefits that aren't written into law.
On a national level, the five low-scoring Fortune 500 companies in Greater Cincinnati show a surprising level of backwardness. In general, the nationwide rankings were very positive
this year. In an emailed statement, HRC pointed out 252 companies got
100-percent scores in 2012, up from 13 companies in 1991. As HRC put it,
“For American companies, 100 percent is the new normal.”
CityBeat could not reach Western & Southern or
American Financial Group for immediate comment. This story will be
updated if comments become available.
by German Lopez
Port Authority could buy parking assets, county may raise sales tax, Cincinnati's LGBT score
The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority is making a move to buy up the city’s parking services. Cincinnati is pursuing parking privatization
as a way of balancing the budget. If it accepts the Port Authority’s
deal, the city will get $40 million upfront, and $21 million of that
will be used to help plug the $34 million deficit in the 2013 budget.
Port Authority also promised 50 percent of future profits. The Port
Authority proposal is only one of nine Cincinnati’s government has
received since it announced its plan. CityBeat criticized the city’s budget plan in this week’s commentary.
The Hamilton County Board of Commissioners might raise the sales tax instead of doing away with the property tax rebate to stabilize the stadium fund.
Democratic Commissioner Todd Portune suggested the idea, and Board
President Greg Hartmann says it might be the only solution. Republican
Chris Monzel is against it. Sales taxes are notoriously regressive,
while the property tax rebate disproportionately favors the wealthy.
Portune claims the 0.25-percent sales tax hike would be more spread out
than a property tax rollback, essentially impacting low-income families
less than the alternative. CityBeat previously covered the stadium fund and its problems here.
While Cincinnati has made great strides in LGBT rights in
the past year, it still has ways to go. The Municipal Equality Index
from the Human Rights Campaign scored Cincinnati a 77 out of 100
on city services, laws and policies and how they affect LGBT
individuals. Cleveland tied with Cincinnati, and Columbus beat out both
with an 83. It's clear Ohio is making progress on same-sex issues, but will Ohioans approve same-sex marriage in 2013?
Some conservatives just don’t know when to quit. Even
though Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus pronounced the heartbeat bill
dead, Janet Porter, president of the anti-abortion Faith2Action, wants
to force a vote in the Ohio legislature. CityBeat previously wrote about Republicans’ renewed anti-abortion agenda.
Some people are not liking the idea of new fracking waste wells.
About 100 protesters in Athens were escorted out of an information
session from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for loudly
disputing a proposal to build more waste wells. Fracking, which is also
called hydraulic fracturing, is a drilling technique that pumps water
underground to draw out oil and gas. Waste wells are used to dispose of
the excess water.
One reason Ohio's online schools are so costly is advertising. CityBeat previously looked into online schools, their costs and their problems.
Divorce in Ohio might soon get easier to finalize, as long as it’s mutual and civil.
A new bill would give Ohio schools more flexibility
in making up snow days and other sudden disruptions in the school year.
The bill changes school year requirements from day measurements to
A new study found 60 percent of youth with HIV don’t know they have the deadly disease. CityBeat covered a new University of Cincinnati push meant to clamp down on rising HIV rates among youth in this week’s news story.
Tech jobs are seeing a boom due to Obamacare, according to Bloomberg.
Scientists have discovered a quasar that glows brighter than our entire galaxy.
They’ve also invented a chocolate that doesn’t melt at 104 degrees.
by German Lopez
Posted In: News
, LGBT Issues
at 12:53 PM | Permalink
City tied with Cleveland, behind Columbus in ranking of 137 cities
When it comes to LGBT rights, Cincinnati received a score
of 77 out of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign's first
Municipal Equality Index (MEI). Cincinnati tied with Cleveland, but lost
to Columbus, which scored an 83.
The index looks at cities’ laws, policies and services to
gauge how friendly they are to LGBT individuals. With 47 criteria in
hand, 137 cities were scored.
Cincinnati gained positive marks for its
non-discrimination laws, which protect employment, housing and public
accommodations for LGBT people. The city was also praised for its openly
gay leadership, notably Councilman Chris Seelbach. Even the Cincinnati Police Department (CPD) got some LGBT love; it was
marked positively for having an LGBT liaison and reporting 2010 hate
crime statistics to the FBI.
But Cincinnati had mixed results elsewhere. The city was
praised for enacting some anti-bullying policies and an equal employment
opportunity commission, but docked for not having a mayoral LGBT
liaison or office of LGBT affairs. While the city did well in having
domestic partner health benefits and legal dependant benefits, it was
knocked for not having equivalent family leave for LGBT individuals.
The city did particularly poorly in relationship
recognition. The HRC analysis notes that gay marriage and civil unions
are state policies, which Cincinnati’s government has no control over. But the city did lose points for not having a domestic partner
registry, which both Cleveland and Columbus have.A few of Cincinnati's LGBT improvements came just within the last year: Seelbach was elected in 2011, domestic health benefits were passed in May and the LGBT liaison for the CPD was named in October.
Overall, Cincinnati wasn’t among the top in LGBT rights.
About 25 percent of cities scored an 80 or higher, including Columbus.
Eleven cities scored 100: Long Beach, Calif.; Los Angeles; San Diego,
Calif.; San Francisco; Boston; Cambridge, Mass.; St. Louis, Mo.; New
York City; Portland, Ore.; Philadelphia; and Seattle.
In this week’s cover story, CityBeat covered Ohio’s evolution on same-sex marriage.
2 Comments · Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Fox 19 on Nov. 9 apologized
for an ignorant comment made by news anchor Tricia Macke on her
personal Facebook page last month. Macke’s comment, “Rachel Maddow is
such an angry young man,” sparked outrage among gay-rights organizations
for its depiction of MSNBC’s openly gay broadcaster as male.