Webster Groves Council expands housing anti-discrimination protections to include sexual orientation
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 6, 2013 - The Webster Groves City Council has unanimously approved an amendment to the city’s fair housing code that supporters say will protect renters and buyers from being discriminated against because of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The council’s action, taken Tuesday night, doesn’t go as far as the anti-discrimination ordinances recently approved by the St. Louis County Council and several other county municipalities. Those ordinances also applied to employment and public accommodations.
Still, some gay-rights supporters praised the council’s action. "I celebrate that the movement for nondiscrimination is rolling forward in Webster Groves thanks to the City Council’s readiness to pass a fair housing ordinance that protects LGBT citizens," says Deb Krause of Eden Theological Seminary.
"As a faith leader and a 20-year Webster Groves resident, I pray that this important action will be followed soon by ordinances to ensure fairness for all with regard to employment and public accommodations. Webster Groves is a community too great to discriminate!"
A.J. Bockelman, executive director of PROMO – the region’s largest gay-rights group – said in a statement, “We are excited to see the organic, natural passage of local nondiscrimination updates that Webster Groves has taken on. Hopefully we will see more municipalities move forward to protect all of their community, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”