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Westlake voters decide to remove gender-specific language from the city's charter

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Posted at 5:43 AM, Nov 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-04 05:43:53-05

WESTLAKE, Ohio — Residents in Westlake have voted to remove gender-specific language from the city’s charter, which uses male-specific language to describe city positions and officer holders with an additional section that states all references to the male gender shall be read as the female gender.

Issue 56 passed with 10,879 votes, with 6,423 voters voting no.

The vote to change the gender-specific language was recommended by the city’s charter review commission, a volunteer body that meets to examine the charter every 10 years for potential changes and updates.

Eliana Turan, the director of development of the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, told News 5 last month that the change to gender-neutral language may seem, at first glance, insignificant or benign. However, by doing so, Turan said the move to more neutral language can help promote a more inclusive environment.

"It is really an opportunity to broaden our linguistic base and to modify its use to make sure that people do feel included," Turan said. "It is somewhat forward looking in the sense that they're also not talking about just changing the language to say men and women or male and female pronouns; it's going beyond gender. It's going beyond gender pronouns. I think it offers our neighbors an opp

RELATED: In-Depth: Westlake voters to consider change to gender-neutral language in city charter

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