Those in the LGBT community who are considering a move to Indiana, Kansas City, or Florida will be pleased to hear that these three states (or cities in these states, as is the case with Indiana) have continued moving in the right direction as far as rights and protections go. Many gay and lesbian real estate agents are asked about LGBT rights when people are considering a move to a new state, and no one likes to hear that there are little to no laws protecting housing, employment, or any other basic right. Here are three areas where that is no longer the case.
Some of the larger cities in the state have already banned discrimination based on both orientation and gender identity, and the state itself looked poised to do so. However, the measure that would have made these protections statewide failed in February of 2016, leaving city councils to pass local ordinances that would at least provide some protection. The Kokomo city council approved such a measure, and the city council of Munster is preparing to vote on a similar ordinance next month. In Evansville, the city commission’s authority to enforce the city’s anti-discrimination laws has been expanded, providing more protection there.
Cities that already have anti-discrimination ordinances include Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend, Terre Haute, Columbus, and Carmel.
The mayor of Seattle, Washington, signed an executive order in early March that provides additional protection for transgender citizens. The order states that all city employees will be trained in the rights and protections of transgender people so they can better identify harassment and protect these citizens from harm. The training will include a review of all laws and ordinances that protect the rights of LGBT citizens with a focus on transgender members of the community. This includes allowing them to use the restroom facilities of the gender they identify with.
While Kansas City hasn’t passed any new laws or ordinances, the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project has opened a new center for LGBTQ victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. This center is the only one of its kind in Kansas, plus there are none of these centers in the neighboring states of Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska. As such, it fills a unique role. The center also offers job counseling, medical and legal advocacy, and even assistance with food and clothing for those in need.