Ann Arbor has been a leader in Michigan when it comes to the city's non-discrimination ordinance. The law is now getting a much needed update.
In the late 1970's Ann Arbor became the first community in the state to pass a non-discrimination ordinance of it's type. A couple years later the city became the first in Michigan to add sexual orientation to the list of protections.
But, changes in the organization of city government left no way to monitor or enforce the ordinance. City Council Member Christopher Taylor says the re-written ordinance will address this problem. "People who feel that they have been discriminated against in violation of the ordinance will now have an opportunity to come to the Human Rights Commission, which will incorporate those complaints and make sure that they get to the right people," Taylor says.
Taylor says once the new enforcement mechanism is in place they will have a better idea of how much an issue discrimination is in Ann Arbor.
The rewrite is also needed to comply with state law and add protections under gender identity, veteran status, and political beliefs.
City Council will consider final approval of the new Non-Discrimination Ordinance tonight.