Non-discrimination ordinances

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Apparently, the City of Kalamazoo, Michigan, has rescinded an ordinance that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment, housing, and public accommodations–just 6 weeks after it was enacted. The American Family Association of Michigan submitted approximately 1,600 signatures seeking repeal. That was enough signatures to require the city commission to repeal the ordinance or to put it on the ballot.

Locally, the Allegheny County Council is considering a similar nondiscrimination ordinance based on one that is now in effect in the City of Pittsburgh. (For those who aren’t familiar with the geography of Western Pennsylvania, the city and county are far from co-extensive. I, for example, live in Allegheny County but not in the City of Pittsburgh–though I do work in the city. This ordinance would effectively extend non-discrimination protections throughout the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.) After lobbying from the American Family Association of Pennsylvania, which unsurprisingly opposes the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the proposed ordinance, the ordinance has lost 3 sponsors. If any other sponsors defect, the ordinance will fail to pass. I encourage all readers in the Western Pennsylvania area to contact county council members to express their support for the ordinance prior to the public hearing that is scheduled for this Thursday, January 15th, at 5 p.m. in the Allegheny County Courthouse. To take action on this issue, please click here. I also encourage as many people as possible to show up at the hearing in person because you can count on the opposition to turn out!

-Tony Infanti

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