KIRKWOOD, Mo. - The Kirkwood City Council tonight unanimously voted to strengthen the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance by adding local enforcement mechanisms, thus allowing the City of Kirkwood to resolve complaints of discrimination by LGBT citizens.

Kirkwood updated its nondiscrimination ordinance in 2012 to include sexual orientation and gender identity in regard to employment, housing and public accommodations. According to PROMO, Missouri's statewide LGBT advocacy and policy organization, while the ordinance updated the city’s nondiscrimination statute, there was concern from Kirkwood advocates that these protections for the LGBT community needed teeth. The Kirkwood City Attorney and the Kirkwood Human Rights Commission (KHRC) worked together toward strengthening these protections, which would allow the City of Kirkwood the opportunity to enforce any violation.

"I'm proud of Kirkwood City Council and the Kirkwood Human Rights Commission, who tonight took a strong and positive step toward protections and equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community,” said Maggie Duwe, former Vice Chair of the Kirkwood Human Rights Commission. “It was a journey that required many thoughtful and heartfelt hours, from many people. I'm proud to live in a community where our government was determined and pleased to pass this enforcement."

“Kirkwood has been a shining example of how a city not only takes the step of adding sexual orientation and gender identity to their nondiscrimination ordinance, but also ensuring that there is a strong mechanism for LGBT people to access those protections if they do face discrimination,” added A.J. Bockelman, Executive Director of PROMO. “We hope other municipalities look at Kirkwood as a roadmap for LGBT protections in their own communities, as we continue to work for statewide protections.”

To assist the LGBT community of Kirkwood in better understanding the complaint and enforcement process, PROMO and Duwe have published a blog post available on PROMO’s website that outlines the process for resolving discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.



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