“On general principle of equality and justice, [extending health insurance benefits to city employees] is just the right thing to do because all people deserve the same benefits. On the business side, it is what we need to do to make Cincinnati as competitive as possible with other cities and corporations. If we offer the best person a job, they may say no and go somewhere that offers these benefits.”
Of course, Seelbach has only introduced a motion requesting city administrators to research the issue, but it’s still the first time anything like this has happened in Cincinnati. And it’s a big step up from Article XII, a 1993 amendment to Cincinnati’s city charter banning any sort of legal protections for LGBT people.
Citizens for Community Values, a local conservative organization affiliated with Focus on the Family, championed the measure. Local activists lead campaigns to repeal Article XII, and they finally found success with a 2004 voter referendum spearheaded by Seelbach. While Article XII was enforced, the Greater Cincinnati Convention & Visitor’s Bureau estimates it cost the city more than $45 million lost convention revenue.