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Anti-Discrimination Strides in Delaware and Kalamazoo, Michigan

Two more blocks were added this week to the civil rights quilt, although both with threads still dangling.  On June 25th, both houses of the Delaware legislature passed “Senate Bill 121, [which] adds sexual orientation to the list of protections under Delaware’s anti-discrimination law. That law covers housing, employment, public works contracting, public accommodations and insurance.”  It’s taken 10 years of trying to get this bill passed.  Governor Markell apparently has spoken in favor of similar bills previously, so is expected to sign this one.

In Kalamazoo, MI on June 29th, the city council passed a fully-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance!  This is incredibly exciting, because the ordinance had passed once before then was rescinded for strategic reasons.  And now it’s back, stronger than before.  Get the inside scoop here from Mattkazoo.

The threads still dangling on these great developments?  The Delaware bill protects us based on sexual orientation but not gender identity or expression, and the Kalamazoo city ordinance will have to weather a referendum challenge.  As always, more work remains to be done.  But we’re used to that, and I’m not going to let that perennial reality get in the way of celebrating two victories for civil rights in one week.  As Dan Savage is fond of saying, we’re winning!

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Laurel Ramseyer

Laurel Ramseyer