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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 29, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 39
Birmingham enacts LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance
Section One
ALL STORIES
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Birmingham enacts LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - After a public hearing and over five years of groundwork, the Birmingham City Council has passed a fully inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance, and Mayor William Bell has committed to signing the ordinance into law immediately.

The ordinance passed unanimously on a vote of 7-0. Council Members Kim Rafferty and William Parker were not present.

'Today [September 26, 2017] is a monumental victory for everyone who lives and works in Birmingham who are now fully protected from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Before this ordinance was passed, you could get married on Saturday then on Monday be fired from your job, evicted from your home, or denied service because you're LGBTQ,' said Alex Smith, executive director of Equality Alabama. 'No one should be discriminated against because of who they are or whom they love, and Birmingham took action today to ensure that.'

'Today is a great day to be from Birmingham,' said Fran Hutchins, Deputy Director of Equality Federation. 'I'm so proud of Equality Alabama and their partners on the ground to make this important policy possible.'

Birmingham now joins more than 200 counties and cities in the United States that prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Our neighbors in Jackson, MS, passed a fully inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance over a year ago. In Alabama, both Huntsville and Mobile have human rights commissions, and Montevallo is poised to pass nondiscrimination protections for its LGBTQ citizens.

'Doing the right thing doesn't take courage; it takes action. Drawing from its roots as the birthplace of the civil rights movement, Birmingham took decisive action today to ensure everyone is treated fairly regardless of real or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or familial status,' Smith said. 'Having this ordinance in place sends a clear message that Birmingham is a fair, inclusive, welcoming city. Though first and foremost this ordinance is a victory for the people, it will also prove to be a boon for Birmingham's business interests. A city protected from discrimination is a city that competes and is open for business.'

Equality Alabama thanks our partners at the Human Rights Campaign, Alabama Stonewall Democrats, Central Alabama Pride, TAKE, PFLAG, Michael Hansen, and many others who have worked with the city over the past five years to make this ordinance a reality.

Equality Alabama is hosting a reception tonight [September 26, 2017] at B&A Warehouse (1531 1st Ave S) to celebrate this victory and raise funds to secure victories for nondiscrimination statewide.

Equality Alabama is a statewide organization working to advance equal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Alabamians where they live, work, learn, and play through education, legislative advocacy, and political action.

Courtesy of Equality Alabama

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