Greetings Will. Thanks for your pursuit of the facts and trying to figure this all out. As President of Equality Cincinnati¶s Board, I am very comfortable with you quoting us on the information that is attachedto this email.
Good luck with you story.
Kristin Smith Shrimplin, M.N.O.
Equality Cincinnati is local, grassroots organization whose mission is to work for fullequality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in Greater Cincinnati and toprevent discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.It¶s important to note that we are local and grassroots because it underscores our values of where our attention is and what issues we focus on. Furthermore, and this isimportant, as a grassroots organization, we welcome, encourage, and need communityinvolvement, ideas, and mobilizing support to carry out our mission.Equality Cincinnati is about equal, inclusive and fair rights for the LGBTQ community.One aspect of our focus has been marital parity because it is an issue of equality. As agrassroots organization, we have had to strategize on the best way to address maritalparity and secure it for members in our community. This is the rationale behind our strategy for not pursuing the registry through City Council:
In 2009, there was ongoing litigation against Cleveland¶s registry and we expectedthat if we pushed our Council to begin a registry, Cincinnati would likewise be sued.
With no final result at that point (2009), it was unclear whether we¶d win or lose thatlitigation.
We didn¶t find it strategically wise to get our supporters on City Council intoexpensive litigation with an unclear outcome at a time when the City was facing adeficit and the end result would be a symbolic registry that provides no substantiverights to any gay or lesbian person. If a registry provided substantive rights of anykind, we may have decided differently.
Therefore, Equality Cincinnati started a Domestic Partner Registry that provides thesame symbolic value, but without putting our allies on Council at risk for little benefitto the community. Furthermore, our Registry, while it has no legal rights attached toit, it has social justice components in that as a grassroots LGBTQ organization, weare supporting, acknowledging, and honoring the legitimacy of the relationships inour community. When possible lawsuits and expensive legal fees are barriers at thistime, we do not stop in our commitment to supporting our community. We turn tocreative and non-traditional means and we take ownership of a registry. This hasresonated with LGBTQ members as we have secured over 125 partnerships (250signatures) just during 2 days of Pride alone. We are fully launching the registry