CLEVELAND — Ohio LGBTQ rights group Equality Ohio announced Wednesday that they were honoring former ACLU of Ohio leader Christine Link as Cleveland Ally of the year.
From the Equality Ohio website:
In the early days of HIV/AIDS, people were quick to point fingers at gay men, and even quicker to come up with extreme solutions such as quarantine. Christine, having an academic background in public health, was able to recognize that the scapegoating of gay men was not rooted in science, but in hysteria and fear. She fought phony public health solutions to HIV/AIDS and instead advocated for equal and compassionate treatment basic on science.
In 1992, a gay man traveling through Ohio became ill. A doctor refused to admit him because of his HIV status. He had to travel 45 minutes to another hospital that would treat him. Under Christine’s leadership, the ACLU argued that the hospital violated the Americans with Disabilities act––and won, setting an important precedent for people living with HIV.
When Congress was debating “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Christine and the ACLU led the local fight.
Equality Ohio has counted the ACLU and Christine as a valued partner many times. Sometimes a local school refuses to accommodate a GSA, and together, we have guided the school in understanding how that violates the civil liberties of students. We partnered with the ACLU on the Why Marriage Matters Ohio campaign, which moved the needle from 47% to 53% of Ohioans in favor of same-sex marriage and prepared counties across the state to be ready on day one of the Obergefell decision.