Victory in Kalamazoo

With so much attention focused on Maine and Washington state and Houston today, we have overlooked a vote that happened in Kalamazoo, Mich., where the City Commission had twice voted to amend the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance to include protections based on sexual orientation.

Opponents of the measure managed to force a ballot referendum on the issue, but the Family Equality Council is reporting now that the referendum failed. Here’s the FEC press release:

Today voters of Kalamazoo, Mich., passed Ordinance 1856. Originally approved twice by the City Commission of Kalamazoo, opponents forced a public referendum on the ordinance. The ordinance revises the city’s existing non-discrimination law to include LGBT people.

“With the passage of this legislation, LGBT individuals in Kalamazoo are provided legal protection from discrimination at work, in seeking housing and in enjoying public accommodations such as restaurants and hotels.

Statement of Jennifer Chrisler, executive director, Family Equality Council:

“‘Kalamazoo is a leading community in the fight for equality. This ordinance ensures LGBT families basic protections such as the ability to secure a place to live or eat in a restaurant. It also enables that LGBT individuals can work and provide for their children and families without the fear of being fired for reasons unrelated to their job performance. The public’s support for LGBT people and these basic protections is great for Kalamazoo and adds to the momentum towards full equality for all families across this country. Jon Hoadley did an outstanding job leading the charge and ensuring this passage of Ordinance 1856.’”

—  admin