Local Steps Forward: Celebrating Advances Across the Country in AugustBy Adam Polaski • August 10, 2015 • 2:02 pm
This summer, as the nation has celebrated the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the freedom to marry, we’ve also seen a shift toward understanding the importance of passing comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBT people. Here’s a look at how LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination has moved forward this month in many states:
- ALASKA: In Juneau, Alaska, Assemblyman Jesse Kiehl said he will draft an ordinance to protect LGBT people from discrimination in employment, public accommodations and housing. “The items being included would help us to make Juneau both a welcoming and prosperous community, as folks can live and work here based on their contributions,” Kiehl said. Juneau would be the first municipality in Alaska to pass an inclusive ordinance.
- ARIZONA: In Glendale, Arizona, residents are working to pass a comprehensive non-discrimination law protecting citizens and visitors from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital or family status, veteran status or disability. Public hearings were held at the end of July.
- INDIANA: The city of Valparaiso’s advisory Human Relations Council has encouraged the mayor of the city to push for a non-discrimination ordinance covering LGBT citizens of the Indiana city. Advocates hope a plan will soon come before the Valparaiso City Council.
- NEW YORK: This Thursday, the City Council in Troy, NY voted unanimously to extend non-discrimination protections to transgender residents. In New York state, a state-wide law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, but it doesn’t include gender identity. Thirteen municipalities in the state do extend their laws to include discrimination based on gender identity.
- TENNESSEE: Chattanooga, Tennessee voted at the end of July to protect city employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
- TEXAS: In Houston, city residents are gearing up for a November 3 ballot fight to protect HERO – the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which protects Houstonians from discrimination in 15 different classes, including sexual orientation and gender identity – as well as veteran status and others. Freedom for All Americans is proud to be a part of the just-launched Houston Unites, which will work to drive voters to affirm HERO this summer and fall.
- WEST VIRGINIA: At the end of July, citizens of Martinsburg, West Virginia came together to voice support for an ordinance outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The Martinsburg City Council unanimously voted to draft the non-discrimination ordinance, which should be made public later this summer.
Freedom for All Americans is the campaign dedicated to ensuring that every American, regardless of where they live, is protected under the law from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. We are proud to work alongside local partners to advance non-discrimination at the local level, in both rural and urban communities, to protect LGBT Americans and make the case for a national, comprehensive non-discrimination law.