State's second-largest city bars LGBT discrimination

Currently only about 60 percent of the state’s 21 million residents live in areas that have passed local equal employment ordinances that cover LGBT individuals. (Ludovic Bertron / CC BY 2.0)
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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) -- The second largest city in Kansas has passed an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

KCUR reports that the city council in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park passed the measure Monday with a 10-1 vote.

The new ordinance prevents residents and employees from being denied housing, employment or services from businesses because of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Backers were overjoyed. Brett Hoedl, of Equality Kansas of Metro Kansas City, said it could create pressure for adoption of a statewide law. Nearly two dozen states outlaw discrimination against someone because they are LGBTQ. Missouri and Kansas aren't among them.

Council Member Dave White voted for the ordinance, but said he wanted more teeth in the legislation. The ordinance allows fines of up to $1,000.