Equality Cincinnati
Business Category: 
Regional/Local Politics
Galvin Siegel Kemper
Over images of Adolf Hitler and the Ku Klux Klan, a narrator intones, "There is a large group of fervent Cincinnati citizens drawn together by a belief that they know what is best for the rest of us. They promote a kind of discrimination that comes from another time and another place."

More images appear, of the congressional hearings with Senator McCarthy about the Red Scare. "We must not let their hate and prejudice start again. We must stand up to them and preserve rights that belong to all of us. Then, with tolls of a bell, "Vote no. Never again. On Issue 3."

The law prevented the passage of any laws that specified protections for lesbians and gays, stripping the city's existing Human Rights Amendment that protected against discrimination in housing or employment.

The commercial, which does not mention homosexuality, failed to prevent Issue 3 from passing in November 1993. In hindsight, the agency allowed that maybe the approach was too heavy-handed and that most people don't think of themselves as bigots, let alone Hitler.

The measure was allowed to stand by the U.S. Supreme Court, despite its decision to strike down the very similar Colorado Amendment 2 case, Romer vs. Evans. For a time, Cincinnati was the only major city in the US that prohibited by law equal protection for gays, lesbians and bisexuals from discrimination but it was since repealed by voters in 2005.
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