All Families Count!
"Cleveland Heights is an exciting, enriching place to live because of its people. Our community attracts a
rich blend of diverse, interesting and talented people, all living and working in the full ranges of life stages and lifestyles.
People who value their differences unite in mutual respect and tolerance. Anyone from any background who upholds these values
can find a home and happiness in Cleveland Heights."
--- from the Cleveland Heights Visioning Committee's Report, October 8, 2001.
Heights Families for Equality (HFE) is a coalition of gay and non-gay voters working to promote access to basic rights for all.
Currently, HFE is focusing its work on defeating a ballot initiative which would amend the Ohio Constitution to outlaw marital rights for gay and lesbian couples. The text of the proposed amendment is as follows:
Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this state and its political subdivisions. This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage.
This amendment would certainly outlaw both marriage and civil unions for gay and lesbian couples in Ohio, and might strike down the domestic partnership benefits ordinance and the domestic partnership registry in Cleveland Heights.
COURT: CLEVELAND HEIGHTS DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP REGISTRY IS LEGAL! Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Glickman ruled on May 28 that a lawsuit filed by Councilman Rev. Jimmie Hicks, Jr. seeking to overturn the Cleveland Heights domestic partnership registry - passed by voters in November - lacked merit. The judge wrote, "the City of Cleveland Heights Domestic Registry is not beyond the scope of the [city's] power."
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP REGISTRY IS OPEN! The Cleveland Heights domestic partnership registry opened Monday, January 26, at 9 AM. Nancy Thrams and Fran Twomey led a parade of 26 couples (24 same-sex and two opposite-sex) creating domestic partnerships on the first day.
Register Your Partnership By Mail
Partners can also register by mail; it does require you to find your own notary (if you go in person, the city provides one). The city has a page on its website with information about how to register domestic partnerships -- and a copy of the form couples must complete (and notarize) to create partnerships.
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS VOTERS PASS ISSUE 35! On November 4, 2003, Cleveland Heights voters passed Issue 35, creating a municipal domestic partnership registry in the City of Cleveland Heights. HFE members began collecting signatures to place Issue 35 on the ballot in March, and submitted nearly 5,000 signatures from registered voters in our city to place the proposal on the ballot. After 10,000 one-on-one conversations with registered voters during the campaign, over 200 HFE volunteers worked at polling places on Election Day asking voters to support Issue 35. According to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Issue 35 passed 7,808 to 6,414.
The Cleveland Heights domestic partnership registry is the first pro-gay legislation ever to be passed by voter initiative.
Thank you to all the voters who supported Issue 35, and especially to the hundreds of supporters who volunteered their time or money to the effort to pass the initiative!
A domestic partnership registry creates a legal record of committed relationships. Registries make it easier for public, private and legal institutions to treat unmarried families (gay or straight) as what they are - families.
DONATE! You can donate to Heights Families for Equality online with PayPal. Help support HFE's efforts to preserve Cleveland Heights' long history of being an inclusive and progressive community that embraces all citizens! Contribute Now.
VOLUNTEER! We needed thousands of volunteers in order to succeed in 2004. Whether you're motivated to dive into working for equality, or just someone with a few hours to spare now and then, we need your help! Drop us an E-mail and we'll get back to you right away.