Wisconsin city adopts ordinance banning bias based on gender identity

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Cudahy on Sept. 2 became the fourth city in Wisconsin to adopt a fully-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance that bans bias based on gender identity and expression.

The vote of the common council in the Milwaukee County municipality was unanimous, according to Fair Wisconsin, the statewide LGBT civil rights group.

The other cities with fully inclusive non-discrimination ordinances are Appleton, Madison and Milwaukee.

Fair Wisconsin president and CEO Katie Belanger, announcing the passage of the ordinance in Cudahy, praised the work of local alders, especially Ald. Justin Moralez, who represents the first district.

Wisconsin was the first state in the United States to ban bias based on sexual orientation in housing, employment and public accommodations, doing so in 1982.

However, state law does not ban discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression and does not protect transgender people from bias.

"These local efforts are critical stepping stones to protect a few more people than before and to build broad public support for a state law," Belanger said in a statement to supporters on Sept. 3.

At least 200 cities and counties in the country ban bias based on gender identity.

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia ban both bias based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Wisconsin is one of only three states that bans bias based on sexual orientation but does not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity — the other two are New York and New Hampshire.

Editor's note: This report will be updated.