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CLEVELAND –  The Cleveland City Council unanimously voted to approve anti-discrimination legislation that protects the right of transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.

The vote, 16-0, will go into effect within 10 days or sooner if Mayor Frank Jackson signs off on it before then.

“While national Republican leaders are doing everything possible to relegate LGBTQ people to second-class citizens, the Cleveland City Council is standing up and sending the world a different message — that Cleveland is a welcoming city and won’t tolerate discrimination against transgender people,” said HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof.

“We commend City Council members for setting a pro-equality example for other cities and states by soundly rejecting the dangerous, fear-mongering rhetoric many anti-equality activists are peddling across the country.”

Religious organizations would be exempt from the law.