Springfield joins the other 14 municipalities in Missouri with comprehensive nondiscrimination ordinances inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity for employment, housing, and public accommodations. Springfield is now the first city in southern Missouri with an inclusive ordinance for LGBT persons and the third largest city with protections in the state.
Councilwoman Jan Fisk said of the vote, "As a supporter of economic development for the city of Springfield, I believe it is important to be inclusive in my support of our diverse workforce. The results of tonight's vote send a clear message that the City of Springfield is open for business, and we welcome everyone who wants to help build our future for a better community."
Advocates of the nondiscrimination ordinance have been working to pass this ordinance for many years. In 2012, the first version was introduced by City Council, and a public hearing was held. The bill was tabled with a commitment to create a Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Task Force. The Task Force began meeting in early 2013 and issued their report with suggestions to City Council in late 2013.
"PROMO applauds the leadership of the Springfield City Council for standing up to discrimination and protecting ALL workers, residents, and visitors of Springfield, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity," said A.J. Bockelman, Executive Director of PROMO, of the vote. "When we all have opportunities for success, all of Springfield wins. We look forward to working with the city to implement this law and show the LGBT community their true value as they continue to add to the growth and success of Springfield."
Protections go into effect immediately, and discrimination complaints based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations in Springfield can be made directly to the Mayor's Commission on Human Rights and Community Relations (MCHRCR).