The Kalamazoo City Commission in December enacted a law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. The measure mirrors ordinances enacted in at least 15 Michigan cities, including Ann Arbor, Ferndale and Grand Rapids.
The ordinance bans discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender citizens in housing, public accommodations and employment. It applies to public and private employers, expanding protections previously granted to city and county government employees under the county’s Equal Employment Opportunity statement.
Contractors working for the city will have to prove they have a policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Churches are exempt from the ordinance.
Kalamazoo Alliance for Equality (KAFE) led the initiative, which met with widespread public approval. Terry Kuseske, KAFE spokesman and chairman of the Kalamazoo Planning Commission, called the action “a bold move whose time has come,” the Kalamazoo Gazette reported.