Non-discrimination ordinances needed
The Shoals is undergoing a period of renewed economic growth and revitalization. Through this growth, we must ensure that no member of our community is left behind.
One significant area of improvement we must address is the lack of city-wide non-discrimination ordinances that ensure every resident and visitor feels welcome.
Such ordinances have been implemented around the nation. Birmingham and Montevallo have enacted non-discrimination ordinances.
The greater Shoals area has the opportunity to serve as a leader in the state by promoting increased opportunity and ensuring basic legal protections for all of its residents.
The enactment of a non-discrimination ordinance would demonstrate the Shoals’ commitment to being a forward-thinking and welcoming area.
According to the Human Rights Campaign 2018 Municipal Equality Index Scorecard, the City of Florence scored a measly 12 out of 100 possible points for its lack of LGBTQ+ inclusive policies. The city only scored that highly because the police department reported hate crime statistics to the FBI.
We can, and must, do better.
The lack of inclusive policies sends a clear message to both minority residents and visitors that they are undervalued. By enacting policies to create more equitable protections, we all benefit.
It is time that city councils around the Shoals enact non-discrimination ordinances.