Shreveport Fairness Ordinance Stands (14 January 2014)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SHREVEPORT CITY COUNCIL UPHOLDS FAIRNESS ORDINANCE BANNING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST THE LGBT COMMUNITY

BeFairShreveportSHREVEPORT— A Shreveport City Council member dropped his attempt to overturn the city’s month-old Fairness Ordinance that grants far-reaching protections to the city’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender citizens.

Councilmember Ron Webb moved to withdraw his proposal to repeal the ordinance after it became clear that the other six council members were firm in their votes to uphold the ordinance. His withdrawal was unanimously adopted.

PACE (People Acting for Change and Equality) and Forum for Equality, the two LGBT advocacy groups that backed the ordinance, applauded the six city council members who originally voted in favor of the far-reaching nondiscrimination measure on 10 December 2013 and had indicated that they had no interest in changing their position on fairness.

The Fairness Ordinance protects all Shreveporters from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. It had bipartisan support from the City Council and was strongly endorsed by local Chambers of Commerce and The Shreveport Times.

“PACE has worked on workplace fairness issues in Shreveport for LGBT people since its founding in 2005. We are grateful to the Forum for Equality which joined with PACE in 2012 to launch the Be Fair Shreveport campaign with funding from the Forum’s State Equality Fund,” said Adrienne Critcher of PACE.

“As co-chairs of the Be Fair Shreveport campaign, Odessa Sykes of Forum for Equality and I are grateful for the goodwill of so many business, civic, and political leaders who have supported our work in Shreveport. They have made it clear that they want our city to be forward-looking so we can begin to end the exodus of our most talented young people to cities that thrive on diversity,” Critcher said.”

Forum for Equality Executive Director SarahJane Brady was optimistic that other elected officials follow the lead of Shreveport’s city council.

“We hope other cities in Louisiana, as well as our state legislature, will be encouraged to join Shreveport in enacting laws that send a strong message that Louisiana does not discriminate but welcomes all who want to work hard and build a good life here. No one should live in fear of losing their job or being evicted simply for being who they are, and in Shreveport, no one will.”

Individuals and businesses can learn about the research, tools, and information to build a stronger and more supportive workplace by visiting www.BeFairShreveport.org.

ForumForEqualityForum for Equality is Louisiana’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights organization dedicated to the establishment of a society free from discrimination.

PACELogoPACE is Northwest Louisiana’s leading advocacy organization for a just society in which the LGBT community can lead open, honest, responsible, and safe lives at home and in the workplace.

Contacts:
Adrienne Critcher
PACE Political Director
critcher@earthlink.net
318-393-6556 (cell)
318-869-3930 (home)

Odessa Sykes
North Louisiana Field Director
Forum For Equality
318-422-5430

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