Royal Oak Human Rights Ordinance Clears Hurdle

ROYAL OAK (WWJ) – A new human-rights ordinance could soon be adopted in Royal Oak.

The city commission voted 6-1, Monday night, to pass a first reading of an ordinance making it illegal to discriminate against anyone based on sexual orientation and other factors — including height, weight, gender identity and HIV status.

If it’s approved, Royal Oak would be the 17th community in Michigan to adopt such a law.

Royal Oakers talking to WWJ Newsradio 950 this week had mixed opinions on the idea.

“I don’t know that I see the difference between adding that and what’s already there,” said one woman. “It just seems like a lot of administrative overhead that’s being added for no real value.”

Said another woman, “I think that they should broaden it because, I mean, people are people — it doesn’t matter what their background is.”

“If it’s not an issue now, it’s keeping it from becoming an issue, which is in my mind not a bad thing,” said a man.

The ordinance will go up for a second vote in March, with some possible changes made. Commissioners say they will continue to seek residents’ input on the issue until that time.

The vote comes following a recent poll showed that 53 percent of Americans believe that gay marriages should be allowed. That’s up from 27 percent in 1996 .

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