Bay City council moves forward with anti-discrimination ordinanc - WNEM TV 5

Bay City council moves forward with anti-discrimination ordinance

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Do business owners have a right to deny someone service based on their beliefs?

That was the topic up for debate at Monday's Bay City council meeting.

"We just wanted to make sure that all of the people in Bay City are covered," said Kerice Basmadjiam, city commissioner.

Many residents who fall into minority categories feel unsafe in their own city.

"People really like to go with the LGBTQ, which it is more than that. Really any type of disability that you might have," Basmadjiam said.

It is something the Bay City council is hoping to put an end to.

During their meeting Monday night that discussed phase two of a new discrimination ordinance that would ban businesses within city limits who discriminate against anyone based on their sexual orientation or disability.

They also elected a new human relations committee.

One of the members, Janelle Felan, explained how it works.

"Someone who's a victim of discrimination can file a claim or an issue and the human relations committee will look into it to investigate and make a recommendation," Felan said.

Some residents, like Patrick Fairfield, said they are impressed.

"I think it speaks well of Bay City and I think it speaks well of our citizens. We can send a clear message to anyone who's considering moving here that it's a good place to come, live and a good place to make friends," Fairfield said.

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