With just days before the opening of
the 2016 Republican National Convention, Cleveland, the host city,
has extended its transgender protections to include bathroom use.
Cleveland City Council on Wednesday
voted unanimously to allow transgender people to use the bathroom of
In 2009, city leaders approved
legislation that prohibits discrimination based on a person's gender
identity in employment and public accommodations.
A draft of the Republican platform to
be voted on next week state's the party's opposition to such laws,
and by extension its support for North Carolina's controversial law
that restricts transgender bathroom use.
LGBT rights groups applauded the move.
“While national Republican leaders
are doing everything possible to relegate LGBTQ people to
second-class citizens, the Cleveland City Council is standing up and
sending the world a different message – that Cleveland is a
welcoming city and won’t tolerate discrimination against
transgender people,” said JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president of
policy and political affairs at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). “We
commend City Council members for setting a pro-equality example for
other cities and states by soundly rejecting the dangerous,
fear-mongering rhetoric many anti-equality activists are peddling
across the country.”
“Cleveland is now a world-class city
with laws that foster a culture of inclusion,” said Alana Jochum,
executive director of Equality Ohio. “When the world is watching
Cleveland on television, whether it's the NBA Finals or the
Republican National Convention, they're seeing a city that is
welcoming of LGBTQ people.”