Editor’s Note: Battle Creek approved their Human Rights Ordinance on Sept. 3, 2013
“I would love more than anything to bring my beautiful wife to our company Christmas Party without the fear of being fired.” The words came from a woman speaking at the Aug. 27 meeting of the Oshtemo Township Board. In Michigan it is currently not illegal to be fired for being gay, but in cities around the state with inclusive human rights ordinances there is more protection for LGBT individuals or individuals who are perceived to be gay. Oshtemo became the 25th community in Michigan to adopt such an ordinance.
In a 6-1 vote, the board adopted an ordinance to prohibit discrimination in housing, employment and accommodations.
Jon Hoadley, who works with a group called Don’t Change Yourself, Change the Law said, “Oshtemo Township trustees show fairness and equality do not have to be partisan issues, and local leaders are continuing to step up and protect their residents. We hope more local advocates want to work with http://DontChangeYourself.com and the Unity Michigan Coalition to bring a local ordinance to your town.”
As the 25th municipality to pass such an ordinance, Oshtemo joined with other cities and townships that include Detroit, Ann Arbor, Ferndale, Grand Rapids and Muskegon. Visit http://DontChangeYourself.com to see the complete list.
In Battle Creek, a group called One Battle Creek has been lobbying for a similar measure. The group gathered 1,129 signatures in favor of an inclusive ordinance. The vote among elected officials was 8-1 to approve the introduction of such an ordinance. The final vote is expected Sept. 3.
A human rights ordinance is also the subject of a vote Nov. 5 in Royal Oak. There the City Commission had approved an ordinance, but those opposed to equality gathered enough signatures to put the ordinance on hold and require a public vote. Volunteers and donations are needed for the One Royal Oak campaign so they can encourage residents to vote in favor of the ordinance.