Monday night city commissioners unanimously passed an ordinance banning discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation.
The Equal Rights Ordinance is aimed at protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals from discrimination in the areas of housing, employment and public accommodations.
“KAFE Political Action Committee has worked on this for over a year and a half and we are proud of this milestone,” said Terry Kuseske political action chair Kalamazoo Alliance For Equality.
Attorney Jim Rodbard is a former president of the ACLU of Michigan. He worked with the Kalamazoo Alliance for Equality to bring the proposed ordinance to the city commissioners two weeks ago.
“We worked together to find something that is lawful and enforceabl and it’s a good thing for the city of Kalamazoo,” Rodbard told the Kalamazoo Gazette.
The city of Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo County previously adopted an Equal Employment Opportunity statement that said sexual orientation should not be considered in hiring employees. These protections were limited to employees of city or county government and applicants for jobs within city or county government.
The new ordinance applies to private and public sectors, with some exemptions for churches and individuals who are seeking to rent out part of a residence in which they also live.
Violations of the ordinance will be referred to City Manager Kenneth Collard and could be punishable by a fine of no more than $500, plus costs of the action.