LGBT groups spearhead Charleston anti-discrimination victory

Because of the collaborative effort among LGBT groups — including SC Progressive Network member organizations AFFA and SC Equality — the city of Charleston now has proactive legislation protecting LGBT people in both housing and public accommodations.

Last week, the Charleston City Council passed ordinances expanding the city’s existing policy prohibiting discrimination in housing to include age, sexual orientation and gender identity The council also passed a public accommodations ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The ordinances were presented to the mayor’s office in August by AFFA, SC Stonewall Democrats, SC Log Cabin Republicans, American Civil Liberties Union and South Carolina Equality–who paved the way by successfully introducing similar ordinaces in Columbia, SC, last year.

Charleston is the second municipality in the state to pass comprehensive human rights ordinances in housing and public accommodations that include sexual orientation and gender identity. Council Member Gary White said, “It’s a step forward in the right direction in making sure that we are not discriminating against anyone.”

Read the ordinances here.