ROYAL OAK (WWJ/AP) – The Detroit suburb of Royal Oak is the latest Michigan community to adopt a human rights ordinance that makes it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and a number of other factors.
The City Commission on Monday voted 6-1 to pass the ordinance — a decision that came about 12 years after voters defeated a similar measure.
The ordinance covers housing, employment and public accommodations. Mayor Jim Ellison says it’s “the right time and the right place.”
The ordinance, which takes effect this month, makes it illegal to discriminate based on 16 factors, including age, height, weight, condition of pregnancy, gender identity and HIV status. Violations will be a civil infraction punishable by a fine up to $500.
Commissioner David Poulton was the lone dissenter, saying the issue should go before voters again. Supporters said they think voters would pass the ordinance if given the chance, but they’re happy with the way city leaders handled it at the commission table.
Royal Oak is now the 22nd community in Michigan to adopt such a law. Other communities with similar legislation include Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Birmingham and Ferndale.
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