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City of Covington Staff Undergoes Training on LGBT Issues

About two dozen department heads and other managers at the City of Covington this week attended a training session focused on LGBT issues.
 
As one of the first cities in Kentucky to codify protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, Covington takes pride in its reputation - but it is always looking for ways to make its laws, policies, and services more inclusive, Human Resources Director Joann Simpson said.
 
"When you think of 'diversity' training, you don't normally associate it with this topic," Simpson said. "But Covington believes strongly in being welcoming to all communities, including this one, and we wanted to reinforce this core value."
 
The two-hour session was led by Bonnie Meyer, director of the Office of LGBTQ Programs and Services at Northern Kentucky University, and daughter-in-law to Covington Mayor Joe Meyer.
 
Topics included language, terminology, and definitions; how to access online and local resources; how to participate in supportive conversations on these issues; understanding of why "fairness" matters; challenges faced by the transgender community; and specific changes that City government can make to encourage and normalize inclusive attitudes and behavior.
 
"The training generated a lot of good conversation," Simpson said. "There are a lot of little things we can do."
 
With state legislatures, courts and schools across the nation wrestling with issues related to LGBT issues, City of Covington leaders recently marched with banners and drove fire trucks in Northern Kentucky Fairness's annual Pride Parade through Covington to publicly reiterate local government's support for this community.
 
"It's a matter of reputation, but it's also an issue of economic vitality," City Manager David Johnston said. "We have an open door for all workers, businesses, and residents."
 
-Staff report
Photo: Bonnie Meyer (provided)