Last week Akron, Ohio became the seventeenth city in Ohio to enact comprehensive non-discrimination protections covering sexual orientation and gender identity. The vote by the Akron City Council was unanimous, following introduction last week by Mayor Dan Horrigan and Councilman Rich Swirsky.
Akron is the fifth largest city in Ohio, with nearly 200,000 residents who are now protected from anti-LGBT discrimination.
Mayor Dan Horrigan is a part of Freedom for All Americans’ Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination coalition, which launched in January 2017 and now features more than 200 mayors who support LGBT non-discrimination protections.
Mayor Horrigan said this week: “I’m proud that Akron is now one of more than a dozen cities in Ohio to fully protect all resident from discrimination, including our LGBT neighbors. No one should live in fear of being fired, denied service, or denied a place to live because of who they are. Local ordinances like ours are an important way to stand up for fair and equal treatment for all in our community.”
Equality Ohio, along with many other supporters of LGBT non-discrimination in Akron, have been working toward this ordinance for many weeks, and Equality Ohio has been working toward prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in cities across the state. Freedom for All Americans congratulates all involved on this huge win and the momentum it signals toward statewide protections.
When municipalities – especially larger cities like Akron – embrace non-discrimination protections that cover the LGBT community, they set an example for other cities and towns in their state – and, more broadly, the nation. Hundreds of cities and towns over the past 40 years have voted to protect residents from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, because they know it’s the right thing to do and that no one should face discrimination because of who they are or who they love.
Congratulations, Akron – and thanks to everyone working toward these important steps forward.