History in Alabama, and it’s taken way too long to happen: Birmingham just became the first city in that state to pass an LGBTQ-nondiscrimination law.
The Birmingham City Council unanimously approved a nondiscrimination ordinance protecting people against being treated differently because of “race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or familial status.” They also created a commission to investigate violations of the policy.
Local and national activists have lobbied for such an ordinance for more than ten years. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which along with Equality Alabama has been working on the ordinance, said that the legislation will prohibit discrimination in housing, public accommodations and employment.
“Today, the City of Birmingham made history in Alabama by taking a crucial step toward ensuring LGBTQ residents are protected from discrimination,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “In doing so, Birmingham joins Jackson and Magnolia, Mississippi in setting an example for cities across the South to follow. Now, it is time for all southern cities to guarantee the right of LGBTQ people to live their lives free from discrimination.”
“Today is a proud day for Birmingham, now the first city in Alabama to pass a non-discrimination ordinance that protects the LGBTQ community,” said Eva Kendrick, HRC Alabama state director. “Now it is time for other cities in Alabama to follow Birmingham’s lead in protecting all its people from bias and discrimination. Thank you to Council President Austin for his leadership in championing this ordinance and our partners Michael Hansen, Equality Alabama and Alabama Stonewall Democrats for their years of work to secure this victory for all of Birmingham. We look forward to the mayor signing this important ordinance into law.”
Well done, Birmingham. Cannot believe how many cities and states in the country still have so much catching up to do.