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A 'Kumbaya Moment' At Cincinnati Council: Bipartisan Support For LGBTQ Rights

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Cincinnati’s hate crime ordinance will be updated to include "gender identity" and "gender expression" as protected categories.

Mayor John Cranley called the discussion and vote at council on Wednesday a "kumbaya moment."

Republican Council Member Liz Keating commended Democratic Council Member Chris Seelbach for his ongoing work on LGBTQ equality.

"Not only is this the right thing to do, but it's also the right thing to do for our city and for our businesses," Keating said. "Being an inclusive city helps recruit businesses to want to come, it helps businesses that are here help recruit talent."

"I just want to say how happy that makes me," Seelbach responded. "It is incredibly heartwarming to hear not only that we have the support, but [to] hear Republicans speak out for LGBT equality. I very much appreciate it. It’s a proud moment."

The change corrects language in the current hate crimes ordinance, which includes "transgender status" under the definition of "sexual orientation."

Becca Costello grew up in Williamsburg and Batavia (in Clermont County) listening to WVXU. Before joining the WVXU newsroom, she worked in public radio & TV journalism in Bloomington, Indiana and Lincoln, Nebraska. Becca has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including from local chapters of the Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists, and contributed to regional and national Murrow Award winners. Becca has a master's degree in journalism from Indiana University and a bachelor's degree from Cincinnati Christian University. Becca's dog Cincy (named for the city they once again call home) is even more anxious than she is.