Kristin Roman / Editor
During the last week of September, Birmingham, Alabama “became the first city” in the state “to approve LGBT protections.” The City Council passed the new “fully inclusive” nondiscrimination ordinance with a 7-0 vote. It states that no one shall receive “differential treatment” based on one’s “race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or familial status.” This ordinance now encompasses all people of the area when it comes to discrimination in the workplace and housing facilities for instance.
The Human Rights Campaign and Equality Alabama have fought many years to see this day become a reality. Chad Griffin, Present of the HRC, and Eva Kendrick, HRC Alabama state director, both released statements praising the City Counsel for their historic vote. Griffin detailed that Birmingham is now setting an example “across the South” and that LGBTQ+ citizens of the South should be able to live “free from discrimination” in their daily lives. Kendrick closed her statement with hope for the future: “We look forward to the mayor signing this important ordinance into law.”
According to LGBT Weekly, “Birmingham now joins more than 200 counties and cities in the United States that prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.” This ordinance is also said to cause a “boom” for the city’s businesses. It’s both a victory for LGBTQ+ individuals and the state as a whole; Birmingham is setting an example of what it means to cherish their citizens and hopefully more cities will follow their lead and give all citizens the protections they deserve.