Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Friday, June 12, 2020

LGBTQ Ohioans Embrace Fight for Racial Justice

Posted By on Fri, Jun 12, 2020 at 9:18 AM

click to enlarge (AMANDA HINAULT/FLICKR)
  • (Amanda Hinault/Flickr)

COLUMBUS, Ohio - As they reflect on their own fight for equal rights, members of Ohio's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (or queer) community are standing with people fighting for racial justice.

June is Pride Month, which was born out of the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York. Grant Stancliff, communications manager with Equality Ohio, explains there were six days of demonstrations, protesting discrimination against LGBT individuals and the persistent police raids of bars and clubs frequented by members of the gay community.

"In particular, LGBTQ people of color said, 'No more,'" says Stancliff. "They fought back. They stood up to the police. They said that, 'This is our space, and we aren't going to take this harassment and bullying anymore.'"

Members and leaders of civil-rights organizations, including Equality Ohio, have signed a pledge to oppose racism and white supremacy and to take action in supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Meanwhile, many Pride Month activities have been cancelled or delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other events have shifted to virtual forums, including Equality Ohio's 15th anniversary celebration on Friday, June 26.

Stancliff says the current uprising sparked by the death of George Floyd requires a commitment to embrace anti-racism as a crucial component in achieving full equality for LGBTQ people. He adds it's calling the need for many systems and institutions into question.

"For our community, the issue of police violence is paramount, it's urgent and it's deadly," says Stancliff. "We know that LGBTQ people are over-represented the criminal justice system, particularly LGBT people of color. And at this moment in time, it's really a matter of life and death."

Stancliff notes that advocates continue to work on policies that support equality, including The Ohio Fairness Act - HB 369 and SB 11. The bipartisan legislation would provide protections for LGBTQ residents in employment, housing and services.

Tags: , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 20, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation