The city of East Cleveland, Ohio, recently passed a civil rights ordinance protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, reports the Gay People's Chronicle.
The ordinance establishes a course of action for people who feel they have been discriminated against in the realm of education, employment, public accommodation or housing, according to the source. A five- to seven-member commission will hear cases and facilitate mediation, conciliation or, should these remedies fail, file lawsuits.
Attorney Leslye Huff, a board member of gay rights group Stonewall Democrats and a citizen of East Cleveland, drafted the ordinance. She told the news source the ordinance is especially important as it shows a predominantly African-American community guaranteeing the rights of its LGBT residents.
The city council's unanimous passage of the ordinance made East Cleveland one of 17 Ohio communities to include sexual orientation in civil rights protections, according to the Chronicle.
East Cleveland's ordinance was approved a few days before the first marriages of gay couples took place in New York.