The Kirkwood City Council on Dec. 21, 2012 unanimously passed nondiscrimination protections for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Though the ordinance updated the City’s nondiscrimination statute, there was concern from Kirkwood advocates that these protections needed improvement. The Kirkwood City Attorney and the Kirkwood Human Rights Commission (KHRC) worked together toward bolstering these protections, which would allow the City the opportunity to enforce any violation.
Having been approved by the City of Kirkwood on September 3, 2015, the improved protections will allow LGBT residents the opportunity to utilize local resources in resolving discrimination complaints.
To make it easier for the LGBT community of Kirkwood, below outlines the process for resolving discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity:
1. File complaint of discrimination at Kirkwood City Hall - Residents can do so by contacting City Hall by phone or mail (http://www.kirkwoodmo.org/content/Home/2052/contact-us.aspx), OR by filling out an online form (http://www.kirkwoodmo.org/forms/General-Question.aspx).
2. Officials from the Kirkwood Human Rights Commission are notified of a claim through its staff liaison.
3. If the discrimination claim is based on sexual orientation OR gender identity and has occurred within 180 days, residents will be asked to complete additional forms. - Additional forms must be filled out and returned to the City of Kirkwood. - Additional forms will also be sent to the individual/s being accused.
4. Both parties will meet initially with City of Kirkwood staff and City Attorney to further discuss claim and options. In order for this process to move forward, both parties must agree to either:
An investigation by the Kirkwood Police
Mediation by Washington University in St. Louis School of Law representative - If individuals cannot come to an agreement during mediation, the Kirkwood Police will start an investigation
If the matter goes to an investigation, the Kirkwood Police will report its findings to the Prosecuting Attorney, who will decide the next steps.
The improved protections allow the City to protect its LGBT residents, which currently do not exist in Missouri law. Through these improvements to their nondiscrimination ordinance, Kirkwood has taken a step forward in protecting its LGBT citizens to the fullest extent.
To learn more about PROMO’s work to protect LGBT Missourians from discrimination and how PROMO works to expand these protections statewide, visit http://promoonline.org/nondiscrimination.html.