CSD was established in 2000 by a group of local LGBTQIA+ Democrats with the goal of identifying and electing pro-equality Democrats across Northeast Ohio. CSD worked to establish an endorsement process to educate and identify Democratic candidates that CSD could support and work to elect. At the local, state, and federal level, CSD has worked to elect hundreds of pro-equality Democrats that the club has then worked with to enact policies and laws to ensure equal protection for the LGBTQIA+ community. CSD also established the Freedom Fund PAC as a way to financially support those candidates and issues that CSD members endorse in an election cycle. An annual CSD Freedom Fund Reception is held to honor those who have fought for equality and raise funds to support endorsed candidates. The CSD Freedom Fund has raised tens of thousands of dollars to support endorsed candidates. Throughout it’s history CSD has worked to also build bridges with other affinity groups who share our mission of more inclusive and welcoming communities. Among the accomplishment highlights of CSD’s history:
- Established 2000 as a chapter of the National Stonewall Democrats
- 2002 – supports passage of domestic partner registry in Cleveland Heights
- 2004 – works to ensure full Democratic opposition to Ohio Issue 1 by Ohio Senate Democrats
- 2006 – works to elect Gov. Ted Strickland who signs executive order barring discrimination in state employment based on sexual orientation or gender identify
- 2008 – works with Shaker Heights to enact EEO and housing policies to protect from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity
- 2008 – works closely with Obama campaign to support his historic election
- 2010 – 10th Anniversary Celebration honoring founding president Patrick Shepherd
- 2010 – works to elect Nickie Antonio to the Ohio House of Representatives as first openly LGBTQIA+ member of that body
- 2011 – CSD creates both the CSD Stephanie Tubbs Jones Freedom Award and the CSD Leadership Award
- 2012 – works with City of East Cleveland to enact comprehensive human rights ordinance
- 2013 – works with Cuyahoga County to enact domestic partner benefits for county employees
- 2014 – works with City of Cleveland Heights to enact comprehensive human rights ordinance
- 2015 – CSD Freedom Fund Reception welcomes special guest and honoree Jim Obergefell & Senator Sherrod Brown
- 2016 – works with the City of Lakewood to enact comprehensive human rights ordinance
- 2016 – works with City of Cleveland to update existing nondiscrimination laws to protect transgender individuals from discrimination
- 2017 – works with Olmsted Falls to enact comprehensive human rights ordinance
- 2017 – CSD joins the coalition to create Pride in the CLE
- 2018 – works to elect Nickie Antonio to the Ohio Senate as first openly LGBTQIA+ member of that body
- 2018 – works with the City of South Euclid to enact comprehensive human rights ordinance
- 2018 – works with the City of Beachwood to enact comprehensive human rights ordinance
- 2018 – works with Cuyahoga County Council and Executive to enact a countywide comprehensive human rights ordinance, the first in Ohio
- 2018 – CSD creates the first Dave Ream Standing OUT Award
The Stonewall name;
“Stonewall” refers to the Stonewall Inn – a bar in New York City. The Stonewall Inn is considered by many to be the birthplace of the modern movement for LGBTQIA+ equality. For most of the 20th century, laws forbade gay Americans from congregating. In many states, like New York, it was illegal to serve alcohol to homosexuals. Police conducted routine raids, and arrested individuals on a regular basis. With few legal places to meet, gays and lesbians often faced jailing if they chose to live their lives openly.
The Stonewall riots were a crucial, era-defining moment in the struggle for equality.
In the early hours of June 28 1969, a gay bar in the West Village of Manhattan became the epicenter of an event that changed the course of LGBT history.
The days of riots which followed the uprising against police who frequently targeted The Stonewall Inn along with other gay bars were momentous.
Led by prominent activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who were trans women of color, the riots sparked an entire civil rights movement, and the reason why we celebrate Pride Month in June.