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."