City Council to Add Gender Identity and Transgender Protections to City Code

The city will likely add gender and transgender identities to protected statuses in Alexandria.

The new ordinance is scheduled for an introduction and first reading at the City Council’s meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) and for public hearing and enactment on Saturday, Dec. 14.

Introduced by Councilman Mohammed “Mo” Seifeldein, the new ordinance would amend the Human Rights chapter of the city code to add gender identity and transgender status to the list of population groups protected from housing, employment, public accommodations, health and social services, education, credit or city contract discrimination.

The protections make it unlawful to, for example, refuse to hire or to fire someone for their gender identity or transgender status.

While Alexandria placed highly in a Human Rights Campaign ranking of municipalities by inclusivity, gender identity protections were specifically pointed to as an area where the city should do more to improve. Mayor Justin Wilson said at the time that there was some ambiguity about what the city was allowed, and not allowed, to change in the city code regarding protections of gender identity.

Gender identity is defined in the text as “the actual or perceived gender-related identity, expression, appearance, or mannerisms, or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, regardless of the individual’s designated sex at birth.”

The new ordinance also prohibits discrimination due to sexual orientation from city contract employment, which had been left out of a previous addition of sexual orientation to protected statuses.

Photo via Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash

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