Clarkston takes a stand against LGBTQ discrimination

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CLARKSTON — The City of Clarkston has joined two other Georgia cities in taking a firm stand against discrimination of LGBTQ people within its city limits.

On Tuesday, April 2, the city passed a sweeping nondiscrimination ordinance to protect LGBTQ people, making it only the third city in Georgia with such protections. 

“Tonight Clarkston sent a really important message to all of our neighbors and businesses about what our position towards achieving a more equal and equitable community and has established that we will oppose discrimination at any level,” said city council member Andrea Cervone. “This ordinance is an important step for our city to truly codify our stance as welcoming to all, and is critical to our ability to safeguard our neighbors civil and human rights.” 

The Clarkston City Council passed the measure by a vote of four to one, with one abstention at a council meeting that included notable attendees, including Doraville City Council member Stephe Koontz, and former Atlanta City Council President Cathy Woolard. 

The nondiscrimination policy would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in private employment, housing and public accommodations. The city of Atlanta and the city of Doraville are the only other cities in Georgia that offer those protections. 

The policy would also prohibit discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin, age, ancestry or military status.

“I believe the non-discrimination ordinance is a must and hold with our society’s ever-evolving standards of equality and justice,” council member Mario Williams, co-sponsor of the legislation said. “This ordinance reflects ideals I truly believe in with respect to doing what we can as public officials to eliminate discrimination while providing victims with a mechanism that gives them a real opportunity at vindicating their rights.”

All future businesses licensed by the city will be provided a copy of the ordinance within 60 days of receiving their business license, and existing businesses will be required to provide a copy of the ordinance to their employees within 90 days of the ordinances effective date. 

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