Milwaukee County board adds gender identity to nondiscrimination ordinance

Wisconsin Gazette

The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors voted on April 24 to amend its nondiscrimination ordinance to ban bias based on gender identity and gender expression.

The ordinance protects those who work for the county and also those who work for companies that do business with the county.

Milwaukee has similar protections in its nondiscrimination ordinance, as do Madison and Dane County.

The state of Wisconsin, though it was the first state to ban bias based on sexual orientation, does not protect transgender citizens in its nondiscrimination law.

In a statement, Marina Dimitrijevic, chair of the county board, said, “Thank you to my colleagues on the county board for voting today to end discrimination and to update our non-discrimination ordinances. Milwaukee County will join 17 states and more than 100 communities across America … who have all passed similar fully inclusive non-discrimination protections and implemented them successfully.

“County Executive Chris Abele has been an excellent partner in moving our county towards equality and fairness. I thank him for his support of my legislation. This inclusive resolution will modernize Milwaukee County’s existing policies and help protect against discrimination. The implementation of this type of change will enhance our competitiveness as Milwaukee County seeks to build a talented workforce.”

She continued, “I am proud of the Milwaukee County Board for taking a stand against discrimination and ensuring that all residents have the same access to our resources, services, and employment opportunities. Milwaukee County is the economic engine of our state. A fair and inclusive Milwaukee County strengthens our state.”

The county’s website said the update expands the nondiscrimination policy “to ensure equal opportunity to all persons from all segments of Milwaukee County in contracting, employment and promotional opportunity and equal access to public services.”