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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
January 19, 2007

Brian Shinn and Turning Point to be honored by BRAVO

Columbus--The Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization has announced its Community Service Award honorees, who will receive their accolades at the organization�s Guess Who�s Coming to Dinner fundraiser on February 24.

Attorney Brian Shinn and the Turning Point Domestic Violence Shelter and Counseling Services of Central Ohio got the nods for this year�s honors.

Shinn will receive the award for his work to add LGBT people to antidiscrimination and hate crime legislation in Columbus.

Turning Point, even though it does not operate in Franklin County, is being honored for their work with survivors of domestic violence. The organization serves Crawford, Delaware, Marion, Morrow, Union and Wyandot counties from its home in Marion.

�We don�t have a shelter in Franklin County that is able to accept men or transgender clients,� BRAVO executive director Gloria McCauley noted, explaining in part why the organization was selected. �They�ve been wonderful with our clients.�

BRAVO�s work serves all of central Ohio, but is centered on Columbus, while Turning Point serves all of central Ohio but Columbus, roughly speaking.

The lack of a shelter that can take BRAVO�s gay male and transgendered clients, however, means that the group must go further afield to protect those in need of help.

McCauley said that having to use Turning Point can �absolutely� be a big logistical problem.

�For example, if someone needs emergency housing and the nearest place that will accept them is 60 miles away, that makes it difficult if the client has a job they have to be at on a daily basis,� she noted. �Someone staying at the shelter whose other basis of support is here in Columbus is kind of cut off from their community and other mechanisms of support.�

Shinn, a member of the Columbus Community Relations Commission and former LGBT liaison for Mayor Michael B. Coleman, �has demonstrated amazing leadership as the ground work at the commission was laid for transgender inclusion,� BRAVO board president Chris Cozad wrote in a press release on the awards. �His legal expertise, professionalism and tenacity were paramount to the drafting process.�

The current project that Shinn and the commission have undertaken is to expand Columbus� equal rights laws to include gender identity and expression, a task that is nearing fruition.

�It had taken a tedious and at times painful two years of meetings and editing and educating and struggling to come to a final document, which is now slowly winding its way through the city governmental process,� Cozad noted. �While recent changes at the Columbus City Council may delay the final passage of these revisions for a short time, the Community Relations Commission is confident they will be adopted soon.�

According to McCauley, there is never a problem finding worthy recipients for the awards, which honor those who go ��above and beyond� in their service, dedication and work within and on behalf of the LGBT communities.�

�Both of these awards were pretty straightforward,� she said. �Often, our problem is how to just cut a list down to one or two people. Every year when we�re choosing the nominees for this award, we have no problem in identifying agencies or individuals who have really gone out of their way to help our community.�

�One of the purposes of the award is to recognize agencies and individuals who might not otherwise be recognized, who tend to do their work kind of in the background,� she concluded.

The awards will be presented at the opening reception to BRAVO�s �Guess Who�s Coming to Dinner� fundraiser on February 24. Diners will gather at 6 pm in the Venue at Smith Brothers, 580 N. 4th St., before dispersing to a number of private homes for dinner. Contact the BRAVO office 614-2947867 or see for information.




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