A big win for LGBT rights came in Kansas City, Kan., this week, as the Unified Government Board of Commissioners for Wyandotte County and Kansas City amended its nondiscrimination ordinance to include prohibitions against discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The vote, which came Thursday, makes the city and county only the second and third jurisdictions in Kansas to ban such discrimination, following the Kansas City suburb of Roeland Park, which adopted a similar ordinance in 2015.
"Everyone has a right to live their life without fear of discrimination. Equality Kansas congratulates the citizens of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, and we thank the Advisory Commission on Human Relations & Disability Issues (ACHRDI) for championing this ordinance," said Brett Hoedl, chairman of the Kansas City Metro chapter of Equality Kansas, in a press release.
"The Metro Kansas City chapter of Equality Kansas is extremely proud of the leadership of our board secretary and Advisory Commission on Human Relations & Disability Issues member, Tom Alonzo, in getting this ordinance passed," Hoedl added.
The Human Rights Campaign issued a statement praising the ordinance. "This is a major victory for LGBTQ equality in Kansas City, Kan., and it's especially encouraging following state lawmakers' shameful move ramming into law a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people in child welfare services," said HRC national field director Marty Rouse. "It proves that progress at the local level is possible even when state lawmakers refuse to do the right thing. We thank the commissioners for taking action and congratulate Equality Kansas and the local advocates who made this incredibly important victory possible."