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Equality Foundation of Greater Cincinnati v. City of Cincinnati

128 F.3d 289 (1997)

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Equality Foundation of Greater Cincinnati v. City of Cincinnati

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

128 F.3d 289 (1997)

Facts

The voters in the city of Cincinnati (the city) (defendant) approved a ballot initiative that contained an amendment (the Cincinnati amendment) to the city’s charter. The Cincinnati amendment prohibited the city from enacting laws that granted special privileges to homosexuals. Given that the Cincinnati amendment applied only at the municipal level of government, the amendment directly reflected the will of the local community. The Equality Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, Inc. (plaintiff) brought suit, contending that the Cincinnati amendment violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court found that the Cincinnati amendment was unconstitutional. In Equality Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, Inc. v. City of Cincinnati, 54 F.3d 261 (6th Cir. 1995) (Equality Foundation I), the court of appeals reversed, finding that the Cincinnati amendment was constitutional. Subsequently, in Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996), the United States Supreme Court struck down an amendment (the Colorado amendment) to the Colorado Constitution. The Colorado amendment prohibited all government entities from enacting antidiscrimination laws that protected homosexuals. Because the Colorado amendment prohibited special legal rights for homosexuals at every level of state government, it interfered with the expression of local community preferences. The Supreme Court thus found that the Colorado amendment violated the Equal Protection Clause. After its Romer decision, the Supreme Court vacated the judgment in Equality Foundation I and remanded the case to the court of appeals for reconsideration in light of Romer.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Krupansky, J.)

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