Morning News and Stuff

CCV to fight conversion therapy ban; Kroger executive joins fight against child poverty; GOP targets growing Hispanic vote

Dec 18, 2015 at 11:07 am
click to enlarge Councilman Chris Seelbach
Councilman Chris Seelbach

Hello Cincy! Here are your morning headlines.

• Controversial Sharonville conservative organization Citizens for Community Values is figuring out ways around council member Chris Seelbach's recently passed ordinance that bans conversion therapy in Cincinnati. The group has teamed up with the Washington D.C. area-based group Equality and Justice for all to figure out ways for local parents and clergy members to still provide the counseling. Its leaders announced at a press conference yesterday that they will continue to help those "struggling with same-sex attractions." On Dec. 9, Cincinnati became the first U.S. city to ban conversion therapy when City Council approved the ordinance 7-2. The states of California, Oregon, Illinois and the nation's capital, Washington D.C., have also previously banned the controversial practice. Council member Charlie Winburn, who voted against the ordinance, recently wrote an editorial in the Enquirer arguing the ban would do more harm than good.

CCV is famous locally for helping pass notoriously anti-gay legislation in 1993 called Article XII, which prohibited the city from passing laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination. Article XII was repealed in 2004. CityBeat had its own dustup with a CCV-organized coalition in 2008, which you can read about here.

• Kroger executive Lynn Marmer is joining the city's fight on child poverty. The vice president of corporate affairs at the largest grocery store chain in America has been appointed the executive director of the Child Poverty Collaborative that has the ambitious goal of reducing child poverty by at least 25 percent. Cincinnati's child poverty rate is very high — Census estimates from last year put that figure at 44.3 percent. The group's goals include bringing 10,000 Cincinnati children out of poverty and helping 5,000 adults find employment within the next three to five years. Marmer has a long history of involvement in community affairs. She has served on the board for Cincinnati Public schools and most recently helped the city secure funding for HUD's Empowerment Zone program. Marmer is set to retire from Kroger's on Feb. 1.

• Ohio Governor John Kasich, who's still hanging on to that shred of hope for the GOP presidential nomination, is working on a proposal to redo Social Security. Kasich's plan would cut back benefits for high-income seniors, but also lower the starting level for benefits. Kasich sat down the Des Moines Register to outline his plan in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, he could snag their endorsement. Kasich also once again dodged the newspaper's question of his feelings on gay marriage. The governor claimed it's a non-issue since the Supreme Court's June ruling that legalized the practice across the country. 

• There's lots of talk about how the rising Hispanic population in the U.S., which leans Democrat, are going to re-shape Republican stronghold states like Texas, which is predicted to be majority Hispanic by 2042. Following the whirlwind of voter ID regulations put in place at the beginning of this decade by the right, The New York Times has published the second part of an ongoing series looking at some of the ways some GOP lawmakers are working to suppress the Hispanic vote as the U.S.'s white Republican-leaning population starts to dwindle.

• Finally, this adorable photo from last March of a Northside kid named Quincy who got so excited he cried when he had a chance to meet his heroes, the local garbage men, is circulating back around the Internet once again. Viral content generator website Buzzfeed placed the photo at the top of its list titled "28 pictures that prove 2015 wasn't such a terrible year." I mean, I didn't realize that 2015 had been such a terrible year, but, sure, if you say so Buzzfeed. But honestly with recent attacks around the world and in the U.S., it has been sort of a rocky end to the year, and I'm glad this Cincinnati photo has resurfaced just in time for the holiday season.

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