Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic has signed
an executive order that bans employment discrimination based on
sexual orientation and gender identity in the Ohio city, the Akron
Beacon Journal reported.
The updated policy bans employment
discrimination by city agencies and companies that do business with
Plusquellic, the city's longest-serving
mayor, signed the order on July 1,
but copies of the policy were distributed to employees for the first
time on Friday and the policy
was posted on the city's website.
Says Edward “Chip” Clupper, who
heads the gay and lesbian rights group Stonewall Democrats of Summit
County: “This is good business for government.”
“It protects city workers … If you
don't have it, people are scared of losing their jobs” he added.
The executive order will expire at the
end of the Plusquellic administration in 2011. The Stonewall
Democrats said they are hoping the protections will eventually be
made into law.
“It's difficult right now with the
economy,” Clupper told the paper. “This is not the first issue
with anyone in charge. But we hope to move ahead with better
protection. We want an ordinance.”
It was unclear whether
city council members supported making the policy permanent.
Ohio lawmakers are reviewing a gay
protections bill in the Capitol that would add similar protections on
a statewide level.