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Committee Approves Change for Nondiscrimination Ordinance

By Elana Gordon

KANSAS CITY, MO – The Transportation and Infrastructure committee unanimously approved an amendment to Kansas City's nondiscrimination ordinance today. The measure would add that it's illegal to discriminate based on gender identity.

Donna Ross is a frequent lecturer on transgender issues and testified at the committee meeting. She says those who have transitioned or have non traditional gender appearances are currently denied basic protections under city law.

"Yes, I can be fired for transitioning. Yes I can be denied housing opportunities. Yes I can be denied the use of a restroom of both genders. Before I transitioned the law protected me," Ross said.

Ross says the amended ordinance would ensure that individuals who do transition are able to keep the rights they already had. Councilwoman Beth Gottstein sponsored the amendment. Nobody at the meeting opposed it. It will go before the full council tomorrow.

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