Equality Ohio is your statewide organization working for legal and lived equality for all LGBTQ Ohioans. Locally and statewide, we train and coordinate the efforts of thousands of volunteers and experts to move the needle of change forward across Ohio.
We know LGBTQ youth are funneled into the juvenile justice system. We’re getting the data to see how widespread this problem is.
A few months back, Equality Ohio hosted a summit with stakeholders from across the state and we formulated a plan to pursue getting data on the amount of LGBTQ youth in the criminal justice system.
There are many reasons why LGBTQ youth enter the system, including family rejection, family instability, poverty and homelessness. In order to address this problem, we need to know the extent of it.
We are currently partnering with Montgomery County Juvenile Court, Lucas County Juvenile Court, Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court, the Ohio Department of Youth Services JDAI Project, and the Ohio Juvenile Justice Coalition to collect demographic information that is inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity.
People can be convicted of a crime just because they have HIV/AIDS. We think that’s wrong.
With the advent of Ryan White funding in the 1990s, LGBTQ organizations began to defer to better funded AIDS service organizations to do advocacy for people living with HIV/AIDS. Recently, there has been a reduction of Ryan White funds and one of the casualties was the coalition work being done. State equality organizations like Equality Ohio have been asked to step back into AIDS advocacy work––so we are.
The Ohio Health Modernization Movement coalition has existed in Ohio for many years but has not been able to achieve the structure, support and legislative expertise needed to move forward on their goals. Equality Ohio has offered to bring facilitation of that coalition into the work of the organization. As a matter of fact, the transfer from a national organization to Equality Ohio was official just this week! The Ohio Health Modernization Movement supports broad policy agendas for people living with HIV/AIDS but is particularly focused on modernizing the Ohio Criminal Code which singles out HIV from all other communicable diseases.
Everyday in Ohio people need legal assistance because of an issue related to their sexual orientation or gender identity. We’re starting a legal clinic.
Equality Ohio began the process of developing a Legal Clinic to provide legal and quasi-legal support services for LGBTQ Ohioans in response to a significant increase in calls for legal assistance. Local, state, and federal laws create a complicated (and incomplete) patchwork of legal protections for LGBTQ Ohioans to navigate. Equality Ohio’s Legal Clinic will fill an identified gap in referral and direct legal services for LGBTQ people. We expect to fully launch all aspects of the clinic in January of 2019.