Change To FDL Ordinance Would Prohibit Housing Discrimination Against Transgenders

The Fond du Lac City Council is considering adding four words to its equal opportunity ordinance to make sure all bases are covered when it comes to preventing housing discrimination. Those four words; gender identity or expression were the basis for discussion during a special Council meeting Wednesday. Councilman Dan Manning asked for the change to the ordinance. He says that would cover transgenders who have been discriminated against elsewhere. He says more than one in five has experienced homelessness and more than one in ten evicted because of discrimination. Several Council members wondered if the City needed to update it’s ordinance, which already covers sexual orientation. Manning says gender identity doesn’t fit in that classification. Redevelopment Planner Dyann Benson told the Council the Equal Opportunity Commission has not received any complaints in Fond du Lac in the last five years based on sexual orientation. She says changing the ordinance would tighten it up and could help in the future when the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department is considering Community Development Block Grant funding for the City for housing projects. The Council will consider the change to the ordinance at its November 13th meeting.