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Westwood City Council passes non-discrimination ordinance

Posted at 10:39 PM, Oct 10, 2019

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Westwood became the latest Johnson County city to pass a non-discrimination ordinance.

The Westwood City Council approved the ordinance on a 4-1 report with no discussion Thursday at its monthly meeting.

The new ordinance “prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”

It also provides for a way to investigate complaints of such discrimination and enforce the new ordinance.

The rationale for adopting the ordinance was to ensure LGBTQ community members receive the same protection from discrimination as other protected classes “while state and federal laws remain to be interpreted and/or amended.”

State and federal law already protects individuals from discrimination on the basis of age, race, religion, ethnicity, disability, national origin, ancestry, marital status and familial status.

“The Westwood City Council specifically finds that discrimination against persons based on sexual orientation or gender identity is wrong and inconsistent with the City’s goals, values, and objectives,” according to the new ordinance.

The new law guarantees members of the LGBTQ community employment protections, access to public accommodations as well as protection from housing discrimination or retaliation.

The county’s largest city, Overland Park, passed a similar ordinance Monday, while the county’s second-largest city, Olathe, has declined to take up the matter.

Lenexa, Leawood, Prairie Village, Roeland Park, Mission, Shawnee, Mission Hills, Westwood Hills, Mission Woods and Merriam also have passed non-discrimination ordinances.