The Kirksville City Council is considering a new anti-discrimination ordinance that would include sexual orientation.
The proposed ordinance would make it illegal to discriminate in employment and public accommodation based on sexual orientation. It would also create a commission to enforce Kirksville’s human rights statutes. Aaron Malin is the director of Missourians for Equality, the political action committee that supports the proposal. Malin said it is necessary for the city to pass the ordinance.
“It’s something that’s been long overdue for every city in Missouri and every city in America,” Malin said. “The right time was when Kirksville was founded. So, the sooner we can get it done, the better.”
There is no protection at the state level, and advocates have been lobbying for changes to state law in Jefferson City for years. Malin said the group has had more success working with communities to pass these measures. Still, the group keeps working for statewide protection.
“Our goal is to use the ballot initiative process to put statewide nondiscrimination on the ballot in 2014,” Malin said.
Kirksville’s fair housing ordinances currently prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, but they don’t cover employment or public accommodations.
The Kirksville City Council is expected to vote on the proposed ordinance at its meeting Monday.