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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
April 7, 2006

Equality Toledo honors UT, students, Owens Corning

Toledo--Equality Toledo�s inaugural annual membership meeting on April 1 presented no April fools, but rather illustrated the progress a dedicated group of LGBT advocates could accomplish in the space of a year.

Set in Libbey Hall on the University of Toledo campus, the meeting drew over 50 people, who unanimously re-elected the board of directors.

Attendees were given a brief update on the organization, and the first set of Equality Awards was given out.

Owens Corning, headquartered in Toledo, was honored as a company for its dedication to LGBT equality.

However, the main focus of the Equality Awards was the University of Toledo itself, which finally granted domestic partner benefits in contracts with three of its unions.

UT vice provost for academic programs and policies Carol M. Bresnahan welcomed the group to the school, and commented on work it took to get the university to where it is now.

She noted, however, that it is not complete equality: she still has to pay more for her partner�s health benefits than if they were an opposite-sex, married couple.

The main body of Equality Award recipients were University of Toledo students, as well.

Evan Morrison and Ashley Nickel were honored for their eloquent support of domestic partner benefits, while a group of law school students were praised for their research supporting the benefits.

Equality Toledo had a busy first year, doing everything from sponsoring a trio of house parties between May and September of 2005 to achieving its official nonprofit status last month. It was also at the center of the formation of the Northwest Ohio LGBT Coalition in January and convening the Northwest Ohio Religious Leaders Roundtable in November.

Next up for the organization is a training session for the Equality Ohio Lobby Day. The training will take place on Saturday, April 15 at 10 am in Room A of the Sanger Library, 3030 West Central Avenue in Toledo. Trainees will prepare for the May 17 Lobby Day in Columbus, which will united LGBT advocates from across the state through the efforts of Equality Toledo, Equality Ohio and affiliated groups in cities across the state.

For more information about Equality Toledo or the Lobby Day, go to www.equalitytoledo.org or call 419-3440045.

 

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