Oakland County expands protections for LGBTQs 

    Image by Jasmin Sessler from Pixabay

    A new non-discrimination policy in Oakland County, signed into law Tuesday, expands protections regarding gender identity and expression. 

    Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter, March 18, 2019 | Susan J. Demas

    Oakland County Executive David Coulter, a Democrat, and the Board of Commissioners approved the county’s first comprehensive non-discrimination policy on Nov. 20.

    The updated policy states “that no individual or entity shall be subjected to discrimination or harassment on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, height, weight, disability, veteran status, familial status, marital status, or any other legally protected status under federal and state laws …”

    This change expands on the previous policy to include protections for gender identity and expression, veteran status, familial status, and marital status in relation to employment, recruitment, procurement, contracting and the delivery of services.

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    The policy applies to all county departments, boards, commissions and employees of Oakland County, as well as any contractors for the county. 

    Several cities in Oakland County have already adopted nondiscrimination policies, including Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Royal Oak, Pleasant Ridge, Lake Orion, Southfield and Farmington Hills.

    Although Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and mostly Democratic lawmakers have pushed to add LGBTQ people to the state’s civil rights act, there has been no movement in the GOP-led Legislature.

    Allison Donahue
    Allison Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.