The city of Norman in Oklahoma recently passed an ordinance protecting its LGBT citizens from discrimination, according to Metro Weekly.
The city council voted eight to one in favor of providing protections for LGBT people by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status and prohibiting discrimination in employment and housing. Additionally, this ordinance also provides protection against age discrimination in residents over forty. I am glad that such progress is being made in Oklahoma as the right to live freely should be granted to everyone, not just people in the majority. There are not many places in the United States that protect people from discrimination based on gender identity, and by the Norman City Council granting people these protections, they may set a precedent for other cities to do so as well.
Which is what the director of Freedom Oklahoma, Allie Shinn feels too. She sai in response to the passing of this ordinance that it is “a momentous occasion for Norman’s LGBTQ population and a giant step forward for our movement for equality,” and that while this was first for Oklahoma, she remains hopeful that other cities will follow suit.
The mayor of Norman, Breea Clark, expressed gratitude at this passing, as she said that there’s nothing wrong with protecting people from discrimination and that she is happy that Norman passed “the broadest civil rights ordinance in the state.” I have family in Oklahoma and I am sure that they are also happy about this new development as I’m sure many others are.
Bill Scanlon, the one person who voted against the ordinance did so because he felt that businesses would be forced to hire LGBTQ people or face a lawsuit, breaking the business owners’ privacy. The thing is though, if a business deliberately doesn’t hire someone based on their sexual orientation, that business is committing discrimination and should be held accountable. Unfortunately, this is not the case in most places in the US but most, fortunately, the city council voted on the side of equality.
The passing of the ordinance was passed because Norman United, a group of churches and other religious organizations, teamed up with LGBTQ people and lobbied for the ordinance’s passage.
To echo (again) Shinn’s feeling towards this ordinance, I’m glad that it was passed as it is a huge step towards LGBTQ equality in Oklahoma and I’m hopeful that other cities in the state will adopt similar ordinances.
Better late than never, right?
Source: Metro Weekly