The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

September 30, 2013

Rewritten anti-discrimination ordinance will be considered

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The Enid City Commission will consider passing a rewritten anti-discrimination ordinance tonight that adds sexual orientation as a protected class.

Read a copy of the proposed ordinance here.

The city ordinance was tabled at the Sept. 17 meeting because some were uncertain if it pertained to municipal government only, or if it included all Enid businesses. Since the last meeting, Ward 3 Commissioner Ben Ezzell worked with City Attorney Andrea Chism to rewrite the ordinance.

“Andrea and I spent a bit of time going back and forth on the language. Once she understood what I was looking for, it came together quickly. The new wording is simple, understandable and an important step for Enid,” Ezzell said.

The issue was introduced by Ward 5 Commissioner Tammy Wilson and Ezzell.  

At the Sept. 17 meeting, several Enid residents spoke on the subject, including two pastors who opposed it. Other residents spoke in favor of the ordinance.

The ordinance addresses the Enid Municipal Code, Title 1, administration, Chapter 12, entitled “Discrimination.” According to the ordinance, it creates Section 1-12-2, entitled state and federal Law regarding discrimination, creates Section 1-12-3 entitled protected classes of persons protected under federal and state law and adds sexual orientation as a protected class only with regards to employment practices of the city of Enid and its trust authorities.

The new language on protected classes states: “The city of Enid hereby recognizes all classes of individuals recognized by the state of Oklahoma or the federal government as protected classes. With regards to the employment practices of the city of Enid and its trust authorities only, the city of Enid hereby recognizes sexual orientation as a protected class.”

Ward 6 Commissioner David Vanhooser said he is adamantly opposed to the amended ordinance, even it applies only to the city of Enid.

Also on the agenda is consideration of an agreement with Tetra Tech Inc. for design of the Cleveland Street and Chestnut Avenue intersection water line relocation. Another agenda item considered will be the rejection of all bids on the water reclamation facility sludge building modifications to authorize rebidding them.

Visit www.EnidNews.com to read the amended anti-discrimination ordinance being considered.