Kalamazoo’s example: Other cities should follow in anti-discrimination ordinances


JUL 23, 2013, 2:30 PM 

Kalamazoo’s example: Other cities should follow in anti-discrimination ordinances

Kalamazoo Township on Monday got it right when it unanimously voted in favor of an ordinance banning discrimination based on 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.There are federal and state civil rights laws that penalize discrimination, except for gender identity and sexual orientation, so some may view this as overkill. It does, however, send a message that Kalamazoo is serious about having an inclusive community and is seeking to dispel the perception that western Michigan is inhospitable to minorities.

Moreover, given that Michigan has no law banning housing discrimination against the LGBT community (the  right to housing is a basic human right), the ordinance provides a small measure of recourse in addressing such bias.

Michigan was the only state in the last census to suffer population loss. In order to attract new investments for jobs and migration, our cities and townships need to exert maximum effort towards making our state looking like a more desirable place to live and do business.

Bravo to Kalamazoo. We need more municipalities to follow its example in Michigan.