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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
February 17, 2006

'They have gone too far,' Schultz says of new ban

Akron--Connie Schultz urged the community to get out and fight against a bill barring LGBT people from adopting or fostering children at the Gay Community Endowment Fund annual meeting on February 12.

The inaugural event, held at the lush downtown restaurant Bricco, featured a keynote address by Schultz, the Cleveland Plain Dealer�s Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist. Her stance against Ohio�s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage made her a household name in Northeast Ohio�s LGBT community.

She described being at a service at Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ in Cleveland with her husband, Rep. Sherrod Brown, when Rev. Kate Huey asked anyone there to stand up if they had been affected by the amendment, passed in 2004 as Issue 1.

�Looking around at the people who stood up, we started to cry and realized that we all had to stand up, because we all were affected by the passage of Issue 1,� Schultz said, pointing out that Huey had married her husband and her.

�I got so much response from people who voted for Issue 1 and just hadn�t thought about it,� she said.

She called the proposed adoption and foster parent ban �one of the most heinous pieces of legislation in the country.�

�According to the people who are quoted on it, I�m no better a parent than are you, because I was a single parent for 11 years,� she told the crowd, noting that the legislation was �endangering children.�

�People I never would have expected to care about this issue are really angry about it,� she said, espousing pleasure that the religious conservatives in the state had introduced it.

Her pleasure derives from a belief that �they have gone too far,� an action that Schultz feels will cause a more progressive swing of the political pendulum in the state.

That was not the only good news of the night, however.

The Gay Community Endowment Fund honored its four 2005 grant recipients, the Battered Women�s Shelter, Child Guidance and Family Solutions, the University of Akron Foundation Women�s Studies Program and Weathervane Playhouse, and it was revealed that the endowment has a solid $129,000 invested.

The best news of the evening, however, came out of one of the saddest events in Akron last year, the March 4 death of Paul A. Daum, theater aficionado, teacher and philanthropist. It was announced that the remainder of Daum�s estate after the final disposition of the rest of his bequests would be donated to the Gay Community Endowment Fund of the Akron Community Foundation.

While a final figure was not available, the nearly 100 people attending the dinner were told it would be at least $250,000.

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