This past week I met with One Bowling Green campaign manager Kim Welter, who is heading up the effort to defend two non-discrimination ordinances passed by Bowling Green city councilors in 2009. The ordinances amended the city’s existing anti-discrimination laws to protect individuals from arbitrary discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and veterans status in housing, public accommodations, employment, and public education. With no state law in Ohio against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, city ordinances are important bulwarks against discrimination in the workplace.

After these ordinances passed the city council (by votes of 7-0 and 6-1), opponents of basic fairness launched a successful recall petition that placed both ordinances on the November 2, 2010 ballot for a public referendum. Bowling Green is known as a progressive college town, but there are still opponents of equality working hard to misinform voters about the true intent and impact of the anti-discrimination ordinances.

That is why a broad coalition of residents has formed One Bowling Green, a campaign to educate voters about the importance of protecting the non-discrimination ordinances. In a city of only 30,000 residents, speaking with voters personally about these ordinances will be critical to success in November. Of course, speaking with voters one-on-one requires time and resources.

The repercussions of losing our hard-won equality are too many to consider. Having job and housing protections stripped from us will be devastating.  Contact One Bowling Green and join the fight for fairness now.

Paid for by the Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solmonese, President, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington DC, 20036

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