Lafayette bans gender identity discrimination

(WLFI Photo)

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Lafayette approved a new ordinance that bans discrimination based on one’s gender identity or veteran status. Council members unanimously voted Tuesday night to ensure transgendered people are protected. But not everyone in attendance was on board with the decision.

Public restrooms are an everyday challenge for Skye Brown, a Lafayette resident.

“I’m always trying to gauge if I’m being perceived as male or female in any given setting,” said Brown.
Brown identifies as they, their or them and is one of many transgendered people working towards a safer future in the Lafayette community.

Brown is fearful how people will judge when walking into a public restroom.

“Because of my experiences with violence, a lot of times if I’m worried about there being too many people in a restroom, I just won’t use restrooms,” said Brown.

But now, Lafayette is making it illegal to discriminate anyone based on their gender identity.

For a second time, the city council voted unanimously to amend an ordinance that already addresses race, sex, religion, sexual orientation and more.

Brown feels this new ordinance is a step in the right direction.

“I’m very appreciative that the vote was made this way,” said Brown. “Because I think it does set a precedence for future policy for procedural and cultural changes.”

But not everyone in attendance was in favor of the approval.

“I’m a little disappointed,” said Mark Dutton, another Lafayette resident. “We start making decisions like this, it’s going to get worse.”

Many against the amendment have concerns centered on restroom use and the safety of children. Dutton and others spoke out about those concerns.

“I can’t control everything,” said Dutton. “I just gotta do my part and that’s what I tried to do tonight.”
Other new additions to the ordinance include veteran status and age.

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