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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

City expands non-discrimination laws to include 'gender identity'

Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan
Atlanta has taken additional steps to make sure the city's laws are as inclusive as possible.

The Atlanta City Council yesterday approved a measure that would insert the words "gender identity" into parts of the city code that pertain to non-discrimination. The legislation, sources say, is meant to "clean up" the city's hiring and human resources, to avoid any inadvertent discrimination.

Councilman Alex Wan, who represents parts of gay-friendly Midtown, has pushed for the legislation for some time, but the measure was finally given the OK yesterday by his colleagues. Councilmembers Kwanza Hall, H. Lamar Willis, Michael Julian Bond, and Carla Smith joined Wan as co-sponsors.

"The majority of the city's non-discrimination and human rights ordinances have been previously amended to specify gender identity as one of the bases upon which the city will not tolerate discrimination," Wan said in a statement.

According to Georgia Voice, this legislation follows a non-discrimination ordinance that was passed in 2000 that made it illegal to make prejudiced decisions based on "race, sex, sexual orientation, age, creed, color, national origin or disability."

"It was important that we amend all related-ordinances to include the phrase 'gender identity' to ensure the non-discrimination policy is reflected in a consistent manner," Wan said.

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