© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Maplewood becomes 8th city in region to expand anti-discrimination protections

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 25, 2012 - Maplewood has become the seventh municipality in St. Louis County, and the eighth in the region, to expand anti-discrimination protections to those residents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

The city council voted 4-3 Tuesday evening.

According to PROMO, a statewide advocacy group for the gay community, more than 50 Maplewood businesses, the Maplewood-Richmond Heights school district and the United Church of Christ in Maplewood supported the effort.

“In the last several years, citizens continue to realize that there are still groups of people who have not been able to participate fully in the life of the country. As representatives of Maplewood, it is our duty to ensure that all of our citizens are able to participate in all aspects of our city,” said Councilman Tim Dunn, who sponsored the ordinance. “Nondiscrimination protections were set up to protect individuals who have been kept out of our society. To keep Maplewood a city that is open and welcoming to diversity, we must stand together to protect the rights of all our citizens, gay, lesbian, transgender and heterosexual.”

The protections pertain to public accommodations, employment and housing.

Maplewood joins University City, Olivette, Clayton, Richmond Heights, Creve Coeur and Ferguson in St. Louis County. St. Louis also has approved a similar ordinance, as has Kansas City, Jackson County and Columbia, Mo.

“This evening’s vote is again another indication that municipalities in all parts of St. Louis County are working to remedy the exclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens from their nondiscrimination protections,” says A.J. Bockelman, PROMO’s executive director.

“We applaud the council members who voted 'yes' this evening, and we look forward to working with all of the City Council in the future. We hope, just as we have seen in so many other communities, the council members who voted 'no' tonight will see that this ordinance will only serve to better Maplewood and its residents."

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.