19 December 2006

protecting equality


(Lansing-MI) - Tonight the Lansing City Council voted unanimously to pass a human rights ordinance that bans discrimination within the city, including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Today, Michigan's Capital City, became the 14th municipality in the state to outlaw discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people when the city council voted unanimously to support a human rights ordinance. The ordinance bans anti-gay discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations. It also includes local protections based on race, religion, sex, weight, and other characteristics.

"Today is a great day for everyone who lives or works or even passes through, Lansing," said Sean Kosofsky, Director of Policy for Triangle Foundation, Michigan's leading civil rights organization for GLBT people and their allies. "The unanimous vote by city council, should send a loud message that discrimination has no place in Lansing."

Anti-gay discrimination is still legal in the State of Michigan, because the State's civil rights law, The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, does not prohibit discrimination based on "sexual orientation" or "gender identity or expression." Fourteen cities have gone the extra step of banning such discrimination, within their borders.

Anti-gay activists from the American Family Association - based in Midland - have threatened to repeal the protections for GLBT tax-payers and residents of Lansing.

"This ordinance is like a holiday gift to the entire Lansing community. It is a shame anti-gay extremists from outside Lansing want to divisive and mean-spirited agenda to Lansing," continued Kosofsky.

The other Michigan cities with protections for GLBT people are: Detroit, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Douglas, Birmingham, Oak Park, East Lansing, Grand Rapids, Saginaw, Flint, Huntington Woods, Ferndale and Grand Ledge.


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