Kirkwood Rights Rules Add Sexual Orientation; Council Votes to Expand Anti-Discrimination Ordinance and Limit Pickets at Funerals

Article excerpt

KIRKWOOD The City Council voted unanimously Thursday night to expand its anti-discrimination ordinance to include prohibitions against discrimination for sexual orientation and gender identity.

In doing so, Kirkwood joined about a dozen other local governments in Missouri, including St. Louis County, to support legal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals.

Among others are the cities of St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia, Jackson County, University City, Clayton, Creve Coeur, Ferguson, Maplewood, Olivette and Richmond Heights.

Kirkwood Mayor Arthur McDonnell told residents and the council that he strongly supported the extension of rights in the city.

I think it is very important in this community, this country and this state that everyone should be treated equally under the law, McDonnell said.

The Kirkwood Human Rights Commission had advocated for the amendment to the ordinance. Council members Bob Sears, Iggy Yuan and Paul Ward spoke in favor of it before the vote.

Two weeks ago, the council heard from about 15 speakers and activists on both sides. Several members of the clergy spoke in favor of adding sexual orientation and gender to the anti- discrimination ordinance. …