Thursday, June 19, 2003

Is Lakewood Really a Haven for Gays?

The recent brouhaha over Mayor Madeline Cain's decision to fly a rainbow flag (on a separate pole) outside city hall calls into question Lakewood's alleged gay-friendliness.

From the protests outside city hall to Lakewood's lack of either civil-union recognition and protection from discrimination, Lakewood offers all too little in concrete terms to the LGBT community. Mayor Cain's pathetic attempt at compromise in the creation of a "separate but equal" flagpole exposes her as one of the gutless wonders of Ohio politics.

Contrast the situation in Lakewood with Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell's decision last year to proudly fly the rainbow flag high above city hall for all to see; with Cleveland's anti-discrimination policy; or with Cleveland Heights' recognition of same-sex civil unions.

Is Lakewood really gay friendly simply because a higher than average percentage of gays live there, and non-gay residents are content to "put up or shut up" until rainbow flags are flown? Is this yet another case of style over substance?

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