Cincinnati ranked top inclusive city for LGBT people

Cincinnati ranked top inclusive city for LGBT people

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A new survey by the Human Rights Campaign ranks Cincinnati as one of the most inclusive cities in the country for gay and lesbian people.

But there was a time when the LGBT community wasn't welcomed to the Queen City with open arms.

In 1992, Cincinnati City Council adopted a human rights ordinance that prohibited discrimination on things like race, gender, religion and sexual orientation.

"It was a small step in the right direction, but the backlash was large," said Scott Knox, a gay Cincinnati resident that was living in the city in the 1990s.

A year later, voters overturned that ordinance when they passed a controversial charter amendment, called Issue 3, forbidding city council to make any laws protecting gay and lesbian people.

"I worked the polls that day, I don't think people knew what they were voting for," Knox said. "I am convinced, this is the good news, that people are good. People don't want to discriminate, they don't want to be mean, they don't want to be hateful."

In 2004, Issue 3 was repealed. Knox credits door-to-door efforts to educate voters with turning the tide.

And 10 years later, Cincinnati is ranking at the top of the charts for inclusiveness.

Human Rights Campaign ranked major cities based on non-discrimination laws, relationship recognition, municipality as employer, municipal services, law enforcement and relationship with the LGBT community.

Cincinnati was one of the few cities that scored 100 out of 100 in the study.

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