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Tulsa City Council Expands Fair Housing Protections

Tulsa City

TULSA, Okla. - The City of Tulsa voted unanimously to pass an ordinance amendment that would expand protected classes under the city’s fair housing laws to include gender identity and sexual orientation. This move originated with a February review of the city’s fair housing practices, which revealed that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals were not protected from housing discrimination. With the ordinance’s passage, the council hopes to make the city more attractive to new residents and businesses. At least 18 states have housing laws that include orientation and gender identity as protected classes.

The amendment was proposed by Councilor Blake Ewing and received its first reading and committee discussion in mid-April. In a public meeting, several Tulsans presented their own experiences with discrimination to the council. The new ordinance contains two exceptions: religious institutions and individuals renting an apartment unit in an owner-occupied dwelling are not subject to the policy change.

The ordinance next goes to Mayor Dewey Bartlett for signature.

Source: Tulsa World, Public Radio Tulsa, Tulsa City Council, Human Rights Campaign