Westerville residents come out in droves to discuss proposed anti-discrimination ordinance

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WESTERVILLLE, Ohio (WCMH) — It was a packed house in Westerville Thursday night as residents came out in droves to learn about an anti-discrimination ordinance under consideration by city council.

City council members want to codify protections for gay, lesbian, and transgender people in Westerville to prevent landlords, businesses and employers from discriminating against them. The ordinance has been one year in the making and city leaders took questions from the public Thursday.

“We are making huge strides towards being an inclusive, diverse community and we don’t just say that,” councilwoman Valerie Cumming said. “We are putting it into practice with an ordinance like this.”

More than two dozen cities in Ohio have already passed ordinances protecting LGBTQ people, including Columbus and Bexley, but no such protections exist at the state level. In fact, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost joined a friend-of-the-court brief last week arguing that the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on gender, doesn’t apply to individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Westerville City Council hopes to vote on the proposed ordinance soon.

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