Kokomo's Non-discriminatory Ordinance: What is it?

With misinformation flying all over the place I wanted to take a moment and explain what it will actually do.

Let's start with the text, word for word.

UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICES. It is the public policy of the City of  Kokomo to provide all of its citizens equal opportunity for education, employment, access to public conveniences and accommodations, and acquisition through  purchase or rental of real property including, but not limited to, housing, and to eliminate segregation or separation based on race, religion, color, sex, familial status, handicap/disability, national origin or ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, Veteran status, marital status, and age, since such segregation is an impediment to equal opportunity. Equal education and employment opportunities and equal access to and use of public accommodations and equal opportunity for acquisition of  real  property  including, but not limited  to, housing are hereby declared to be civil rights. The exclusion of person from or failure or refusal to extend to a person equal opportunities because of a protected class status or the promotion of racial segregation in any  manner, is hereby declared to be unlawful discriminatory practices and is hereby declared to be illegal.

That's the opening text of the proposed additions to Kokomo's new Non-discriminatory ordinance. The protected classes that will be added are in bold. The ones not in bold have already been protected classes for years. This is not "special treatment" as so many like to say. But rather it is a necessary step to ensure that everyone is receiving fair and equal treatment in the workplace, and while seeking public services.

So this means if this ordinance passes: sexual orientation, gender identity, Veteran status, marital status, and age will be added as protected classes and receive the same protections: race, religion, color, sex, familial status, handicap/disability, national origin or ancestry have been receiving for years. So no longer can someone be fired, denied housing, refused to be served at a restaurant, etc for just being gay, bi-sexual, transgendered or for being part of any of the other listed classes.

This is not just a civil rights issue, it economic one as well. Businesses that want their employees to feel welcomed and – just as importantly – to feel safe. That is why many of our state’s largest businesses like Eli Lilly, Cummins, Angie's List, Salesforce, and Anthem, spoke out against RFRA, a bill that legalized discrimination statewide. If Kokomo wants job creators to locate in Kokomo we must pass this amendment.

Already false rumors are flying all over the place. They are coming from far right wing extremists. Don’t let these rumors change anyone's mind on the issue. We must make sure the right info is getting out there.

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  • commented 2016-03-07 14:17:29 -0500
    This must pass.

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