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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
December 3, 2004

Issue 3s first effect

Suit against city hate crime law is groundless
without Article 12, court finds

Cincinnati--An attempt to void Cincinnati�s hate crime ordinance fell apart with Issue 3�s passage, an appeals court has decided.

The First Ohio District Court of Appeals dismissed a suit against the measure on November 8 without comment.

The move came a week after voters repealed Article 12 of the city charter, which had forbidden any ordinance protecting gays, lesbians or bisexuals.

City council passed the hate crime measure in February 2003, including crimes based on the victim�s sexual orientation.

The suit was filed two months later by Cincinnati city council member Sam Malone, State Rep. Thomas Brinkman and Mark Miller.

The trio said that the ordinance violated Article 12, which Brinkman and Miller had campaigned to pass in 1993 as members of the anti-gay Equal Rights Not Special Rights committee, part of Phil Burress� Citizens for Community Values.

The trio was represented by Burress� lawyer, David Langdon, who claimed that Article 12 prohibited the city from enacting the ordinance.

The city, represented by assistant city solicitor Richard Ganulin, argued that Article 12 had no effect because the hate crime measure is directed at criminals, not their gay or lesbian victims.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Norbert A. Nadel first dismissed the case in December 2003 on a technicality, that the three had no standing to bring the taxpayer action.

Langdon appealed Nadel�s ruling to the First District, where it remained without a decision until it was dismissed.

According to Ganulin, oral argument was held in the case October 27. Langdon told the court then that if Article 12 was repealed, the case would be moot.

Article 12�s repeal became effective November 30, when the Hamilton County Board of Elections certified the 54 to 46% vote to remove it.





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