Raised by lesbian couple, CLE Hts mayor fights to make metropolis extra inclusive


CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — Sitting on the satisfaction bench in Denison Park, Cleveland Heights Mayor Kahlil Seren and his household is shifting the norm in our nation and so they’re proud to make it the norm.

“Kahlil and his brother grew up in an atmosphere the place we have been proud to be African American,” mentioned Seren’s mom Leslye Huff. “We have been proud to be lesbians, Mary and I.”

Seren and his brother grew up in a family with two ladies, his mom Leslye Huff and his stepmother Mary Ostendorf.

Now years later, neither of the ladies was shocked to be taught that Seren is pursuing laws to guard his LGBTQ residents.

“I wasn’t stunned, whilst a teen I noticed him as a change agent not afraid to state the fact as he noticed it,” mentioned Ostendorf.

Monday night time the mayor launched a number of ordinances.

One ordinance would ban conversion remedy, one other would strengthen penalties for discrimination in opposition to gender id and sexual orientation in metropolis contracts with builders and contractors.

A 3rd ordinance expands parental go away to non-binary, trans and queer workers.

“Every certainly one of us had our struggles as lesbians in a society, the youngsters caught loads of that too as a result of they have been our kids,” mentioned Ostendorf.

Simply inside the previous few weeks Seren has raised satisfaction flags, unveiled crosswalks and benches, so this new laws is simply one other method the mayor says he desires to make sure his residents really feel welcome.

“There was no attainable method that based mostly on the way in which that I used to be raised that I wouldn’t carry these values to the desk for Cleveland Heights,” he mentioned.

Huff and Ostendorf mentioned they’re proud to see their son preventing for all marginalized teams, particularly a gaggle that features two ladies who love and are happy with him.

“If everybody shouldn’t be welcomed in Cleveland Heights then nobody is and that’s the factor that folks want to know, there could be no in group until everyone seems to be in,” mentioned Huff.

RELATED: Cleveland Heights kicks off Pride Month

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