Michigan City Celebrates Oldest Gay Rights Ordinance in U.S.

BY Neal Broverman

March 07 2012 10:45 PM ET

Even though the state it’s in still allows people to be fired for being gay or transgender, East Lansing, Mich. just celebrated the 40th anniversary of its pro-gay ordinance, the nation's first.

On March 7, 1972, the East Lansing city council voted 4-1 to protect city workers from termination related to their gender or sexual orientation (though an ultimately unsuccessful effort was launched to make “homosexual solicitation” a fireable offense). A gay rights group at Michigan State University pushed the historic action at city hall. Now, a city councilman is sponsoring a resolution to honor East Lansing’s role in gay rights.

“Outside of East Lansing and the 17 cities that have passed similar ordinances in Michigan, it’s still legal in our state to fire someone for being gay,” East Lansing city council member and mayor pro tem Nathan Triplett, who’s sponsoring the anniversary resolution, told The American Independent.

East Lansing paved the way for thousands of municipalities to formally protect LGBT people from discrimination.





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