Cincy's first openly gay councilman shows change

Published:

CINCINNATI (AP) -- The election of Cincinnati's first openly gay councilman represents a shift for an Ohio city that for years had a charter amendment that riled the gay community.

Thirty-two-year-old Chris Seelbach's election last week is a milestone for the area's gays and lesbians. Seelbach had worked for the successful repeal in 2004 of an 11-year-old city charter amendment that banned local ordinances protecting gay people from discrimination.

The Cincinnati Enquirer (http://cin.ci/vyrvhn ) reports that Seelbach plans to push for health benefits for same-sex partners of city employees.

The president of Citizens for Community Values says the election shows Cincinnati is becoming more liberal. Phil Burress' group based in suburban Sharonville had backed the charter amendment with the slogan "equal rights, not special rights."

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Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com

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