How can I enforce my rights if I have been discriminated against based on LGBTQ status?
Neither federal nor state laws in Ohio currently protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. However, in Ohio, at least 20 cities, including Cleveland, have laws protecting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (“LGBTQ”) from discrimination. See http://www.equalityohio.org/city-map/. In many instances, the local ordinances create a board or committee charged with hearing complaints under the law.
People who experience discrimination based on LGBTQ status in Cleveland, whether in housing or in public accommodations, can enforce their rights through filing a complaint with the Fair Housing Board. For information about the process, call the Fair Housing Board at 216.664.4529. In other cities that have passed anti-discrimination or human rights ordinances protecting the LGBTQ community, individuals may contact that city’s law department to learn the appropriate process for filing a complaint.
New Report on LBGTQ Poverty Illuminates Challenges Faced by Millions of Americans
A new report on LGBTQ poverty in the United States has just been released by the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at University of California Los Angeles.
The report builds on previous studies of poverty in the LGBTQ community by expanding its scope to include transgender people and people who are LGTBQ, but not living in couples. The report draws on data from 35 states to identify state-level differences in LBGTQ poverty rates and also compares rural vs. urban communities.
Below are some of the study’s key findings:
Among LGBT people, poverty rates differ by sexual orientation and gender identity:
Cisgender gay men: 12.1%
Cisgender lesbian women: 17.9%
Cisgender bisexual men: 19.5%
Cisgender bisexual women: 29.4%
Transgender people: 29.4%
Cisgender straight men (13.4%) and gay men have similar rates of poverty and their poverty rates are lower than every other group.
Cisgender lesbian women have similar rates of poverty as cisgender straight women (17.8%). However, women of all sexual orientations have significantly higher rates of poverty than cisgender straight men and gay men.
LGBT people of most races and ethnicities show higher rates of poverty than their cisgender straight counterparts.
One in five (21%) LGBT people in urban areas live in poverty, and one in four (26.1%) in rural areas are poor, compared to about 16% of cisgender straight people in both areas.