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Proposed ordinance would ban various kinds of discrimination in Kalamazoo Township

Rainbow flag, often associated with the LGBT movement
User Marlith
Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM
LGBT rainbow flag flapping in the sun

Tonight Kalamazoo Township’s board of trustees will consider an ordinance that would protect people from discrimination based on their gender identity or sexual orientation, among a number of other factors, including:

“..The actual or perceived race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, height, weight, marital status, familial status, citizenship, physical or mental ability, gender identity, sexual orientation or genetic information of another person."

State law already protects from discrimination based on factors like a person’s sex, age, race or religion.

The proposed ordinance would prohibit landlords from refusing a renter if the person was gay or transgendered. Employers in Kalamazoo Township couldn’t fire someone for those reasons either. There are some exceptions, including one for religious organizations.

If adopted, anyone alleging discrimination under the ordinance would submit a written complaint. Violators could be charged $75. But repeat offenders could be charged up to $500.

If approved, it would be one of nearly two dozen communities in Michigan with similar rules.

The township board is only expected to discuss the proposal tonight. The board could vote on it later this month.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station'sAmplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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