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Thank you for contacting Councilmember Priscilla Tyson with your comments regarding the recent revision of the Columbus City Code to include additional protected classes of individuals, that are not currently covered, from discriminatory practices. As Chair of the Administration Committee, under which the Community Relations Commission falls, Councilmember Tyson appreciates community members coming to our office with their opinions and for assistance. She places great value in the opportunity for the public to express their views and to weigh in on the decision making process.

Ordinance 1865-2008, passed unanimously on December 15, revised the Civil Rights Section of the Columbus City Code which has not been updated since 1994. This legislation was modified to include six protected classes: age, disability, sex, gender identity or expression, familial status and military status. These six classes joined the already included classes of race, sex, sexual orientation, color, religion, national origin, and ancestry as classes that it is unlawful to discriminate against in housing, employment, and public accommodations. It also provided these additional six classes the same rights to receive justice when submitting complaints of unlawful conduct. As mentioned in the December 11 public hearing, this legislation has been an effort of four years of countless meetings and extensive research.

As the nations 15th largest city, Councilmember Tyson believes that we must strive to establish a standard of leadership and set an example of excellence that builds a tradition of fairness and equity--ultimately a place that respects and honors all people. We are reminded that a 21st century city is one where people, regardless of their background, can live and excel to their fullest potential. We see inequity as a threat to justice, and in Columbus we will fight to make sure that inequity of any type is shut down at every turn. Protection from discriminatory practices will produce a better quality of life for all Columbus residents and will continue to shape Columbus’s reputation as a city that is ‘Building a Community for all."

Again, thank you for your correspondence regarding the recent Civil Rights code revision.

Thank you,
Rachel

_______________
Rachel Klegman
Legislative Assistant
Councilmember Priscilla R. Tyson
Columbus City Council
90 W Broad St
Columbus, OH 43215
614-645-2933

Whether people acknowledge it or not, discrimination against gays, etc., is largely religious-based discrimination. So taking that excuse (and that's all it really is) out of the public sphere of "acceptable" reasons for hiring and firing is a good thing.

On an only slightly related note, I get irritated when blacks think they hold the only possible claim to civil rights. Notice that religion, gender, race, and sexual orientation are all included under "civil rights" legislation? It's another example of denying reality, a skill they learned at their pastor's knee.

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