Number 23: Kalamazoo Township Joins The List Of Communities that Protect Citizens

Kalamazoo Township elected officials adopted an inclusive human rights ordinance Tuesday night, making them the 23rd municipality in Michigan to do so. The ordinance is worded to specifically protect the gay and transgender community from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.
Michigan law protects people from discrimination based on upon religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status. But it does not include gender identity or sexual orientation, which is why communities like Kalamazoo Township have been fighting to set up such ordinances locally. Similar ordinances can be found in 22 cities and municipalities around the state.
The Kalamazoo Gay and Lesbian Resource Center has been active in encouraging an ordinance, with members speaking at meetings and LGBT leaders on hand to answer questions from the public and the press.
"The Kalamazoo Township Board of Trustees proved today that Kalamazoo Township really is where the promise of fairness and equality lives," said Executive Director Zach Bauer,"and their bravery and commitment to serving all people should be emulated by other elected officials in our area."
Currently, the Oshtemo Township Board of Trustees is also in the process of discussing an ordinance for their township. That discussion will continue on Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. at their township hall (7275 W. Main St. 49009). They will be drawing much of their language from the work of Kalamazoo Township. To learn more about Kalamazoo area activity on human rights ordinances, connect with the KGLRC through their website at
Near Lansing several communities are also pushing for ordinances. On July 10 the Meridian Township Board of Trustees voted unanimously to amend their internal policies to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and they have vowed to work towards introducing a human rights ordinance within the next couple of months. That effort has been led by One Capital Region. Their website is
Residents of Royal Oak are facing an election in November about their human rights ordinance, which passed the city commission, but was challenged by a petition. The issue must now be voted on, and activists on both sides are mobilized for a political fight. Learn more about the movement in Royal Oak at One Royal Oak's website at


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