Cleveland Heights, Ohio—Today, the City of Cleveland Heights held its first-ever Progress Pride Flag Raising in front of Cleveland Heights City Hall to commemorate the beginning of Pride Month.
“Pride Month begins today, but Pride is much more than a month,” Cleveland Heights Mayor Kahlil Seren said. “Pride is the insistence—in the face of intense resistance—that the LGBTQ+ community deserves real respect and substantive access to the rights that we all expect to enjoy. In that spirit, we raise the Progress Pride flag in front of City Hall and across Cleveland Heights, where they will remain all month.”
Mayor Seren was joined by two guest speakers at this morning’s flag raising:
Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education President Malia Lewis, and
Writer, activist, director, and educator Kenyon Farrow, a Cleveland Heights resident who is the Managing Director of Advocacy and Organizing for the national health equity organization PrEP4All.
In addition to today’s flag-raising, Mayor Seren announced substantive policy changes he would introduce this month to make the City of Cleveland Heights more inclusive and equitable in regard to members of the community who are LGBTQ+.
At the Cleveland Heights City Council meeting on June 6, 2022, Mayor Seren will introduce three pieces of legislation:
An ordinance co-sponsored by Councilor Josie Moore to update the City of Cleveland Heights’ parental and family leave policy to make it gender-neutral and ensure the parental and family leave benefit is available to employees who are LGBTQ+.
An ordinance co-sponsored by Councilman Anthony Mattox, Jr. banning conversion therapy in Cleveland Heights.
An ordinance mandating expansive anti-discrimination language in every City contract, requiring companies that enter into contracts with the City or benefit from public incentives to affirm they will not discriminate on the basis of gender identity or expression or sexual orientation.
Mayor Seren also announced the City of Cleveland Heights would undertake an audit of the health benefits the City offers employees to ensure the health needs of employees who are LGBTQ+ are covered.
The City of Cleveland Heights also will celebrate Pride Month with:
A newly painted rainbow-colored crosswalk at the intersection of Kildare Road and Cedar Road in front of Heights High School.
Five rainbow-colored benches that the City has installed in its five major parks.
“The City of Cleveland Heights is planting its flag firmly on the side of acceptance and respect and against intolerance and bigotry,” Mayor Seren added.