Bay County commissioners voted Tuesday to move forward with an ordinance that, if adopted, could be the first of its kind in Michigan. Commissioners are considering an ordinance that would extend non-discrimination rights to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
Joanna Hill is transgender. Before their vote Tuesday night, she and others asked Bay County Commissioners to support an ordinance that would make it illegal for county employers to discriminate against workers because of their sexual preference or gender expression.
"It says to people it's wrong to discriminate because someone has a difference than you do," commented Hill.
Commissioner Donald Tilley is sponsoring the ordinance. He said he hopes it will be adopted in Bay County and beyond.
"Twenty-nine states in this country have laws that allow you to fire people because they're gay, and that's wrong," said Tilley.
But not everyone agrees. The ordinance would only apply to employers who do business with Bay County. Commissioner Michael Lutz is one of two commissioners who voted against it.
"It doesn't affect my business. It's symbolic. It's not going to do a darn thing," said Lutz.
Still, Joanna Hill says it would be a step in the right direction.
"We would love to see the day when ordinances like this aren't necessary. But that's not the case right now," said Hill.
Next in the process, county residents get to weigh in on the ordinance. A public hearing is expected to be held Feb. 11.
Copyright 2014 WNEM (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Do you think it should be illegal for employers to discriminate against workers because of their sexual preference or gender expression?
Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:
Saturday, April 19 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-20 03:44:34 GMT
Authorities are investigating a deadly plane crash. Officials tell TV 5 a small plane went down Saturday afternoon in a field in Shiawassee County. Two people are confirmed dead. Officials are still onMore >
Airplane crashed onto Mid-Michigan field Saturday.More >
Saturday, April 19 2014 6:15 PM EDT2014-04-19 22:15:00 GMT
Michigan State Police Troopers of the Tri City Post are investigating a fatal motorcycle crash. The crash occurred at 3:55 p.m. on April 18. The motorcycle was traveling at a high speed when the driverMore >
Michigan State Police Troopers of the Tri City Post are investigating a fatal motorcycle crash.More >
Saturday, April 19 2014 12:06 AM EDT2014-04-19 04:06:58 GMT
Cell phone video captured a fight between two girls in front of Bay City Central High School Thursday. "She turned and punched me in my forehead, so then we just got in a big fighting session," claimedMore >
Cell phone video captured a fight between two girls in front of Bay City Central High School on Thursday.More >
Saturday, April 19 2014 7:35 PM EDT2014-04-19 23:35:21 GMT
AT&T has announced it's hiring right here in Mid-Michigan. It's the latest positive development for downtown Saginaw in recent weeks. Saginaw resident Linton Patrick was excited about the possibilityMore >
AT&T has announced it's hiring right here in Mid-Michigan.More >
Saturday, April 19 2014 10:00 AM EDT2014-04-19 14:00:16 GMT
A local business manager was stunned to see her most recent water bill to the tune of $18,000. Kim Haken runs the "Columbus Laundromat" in Bay City. When she called the city to ask about the problem,More >
A local business manager was stunned to see her most recent water bill to the tune of $18,000.More >
Saturday, April 19 2014 10:12 AM EDT2014-04-19 14:12:08 GMT
Flames ripped through a local home late last night and investigators believe it was no accident. It happened late last night on the corner of North Granger and Madison in Saginaw. Firefighters brokeMore >
Flames ripped through a local home late last night and investigators believe it was no accident.More >