Kansas City, KS and Wyandotte County pass LGBT+ protections

On Thursday, the Board of Commissioners of Kansas City, Kansas and surrounding Wyandotte County passed a nondiscrimination ordinance protecting residents against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The law is comprehensive, prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.

The vote makes the city and county only the second and third jurisdictions in Kansas to ban such discrimination. The Kansas City suburb of Roeland Park adopted a similar ordinance in 2015.

Kansas City, part of the Kansas City metropolitan area, is the 3rd largest city in the state of Kansas. In 1997, voters unanimously approved to consolidate the city and county governments and named the government the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, KS. The population of the county is just over 163 thousand.

LGBT+ rights advocates immediately responded favorably.

“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.

“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 in a statement.

“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.”

Trudy Ring, writing on the PoliticalHotwire website, said, “KUDOS to Kansas City, Kansas! This has been long overdue! It is our hope that many other municipalities, townships, counties and states will also have such foresight as to grant the LGBT Community the same rights as Kansas City has done.

“After all, these are voting citizens whom we are talking about. They are your family members, relatives, friends and business associates who work, who pay their taxes, who have or adopt children to add to their family, who spend good money in this country and who proudly join the U.S. Military to defend our country so that you and I can enjoy our freedom! They Certainly Deserve No Less Than Full Equality Under the Law!”

Copyright The Gayly – June 3, 2018 @ 3:10 p.m. CDT.