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Human rights ordinance, Pride Month proclamation approved in Grosse Pointe Park

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published June 23, 2020


GROSSE POINTE PARK — Just in time for Pride Month in June, the Grosse Pointe City Council voted in favor of two items that show support for the LGBTQ community.

During a meeting via Zoom June 8, the council voted unanimously in favor of a human rights ordinance and a proclamation declaring June as LGBTQ Pride Month.

The ordinance prohibits discrimination “against any person or persons within the City regarding employment, housing, public accommodations and public services on the basis of that person’s race, color, gender identity, religion, gender, age, height or weight, marital status, sexual orientation, familial status, national origin, or physical or mental disability,” it reads, in part. Violators of the ordinance could be subject to a municipal civil infraction and a civil fine of up to $500, along with legal costs.

City Councilman Daniel Grano, chair of the city’s Ordinance Review Committee, said the human rights ordinance was passed by “full consensus” of the committee.

“This is actually a pretty comprehensive anti-discrimination ordinance for us to have,” Grano said.

City Councilwoman Aimee Rogers Fluitt, who was the force behind the ordinance and worked on it with former City Attorney Dennis Levasseur and new City Attorney Thomas Howlett, thanked the attorneys and Park members of the LGBTQ community for their input.

“I think it’s an important ordinance,” Rogers Fluitt said. “A lot of people don’t realize there are no federal protections for LGBTQ people.”

Mayor Robert Denner agreed that it was “an important ordinance” for the city, as did City Councilman Vikas Relan.

“It should be important to everyone,” Relan said. “This is a good first step for us.”

Because the human rights ordinance also covers discrimination based on other areas, including race and national origin, it’s timely, given protests in recent weeks in the Park and elsewhere that call for an end to systemic racism and racial injustice.

The proclamation expresses the city’s support for “the rights of every citizen to experience equality and freedom from discrimination” and encourages residents “to reflect on the ongoing struggle for equality members of the LGBTQ community face.”

“I’m very excited about this, as well,” Rogers Fluitt said.

City leaders wanted to publicly recognize that all residents deserve to be treated fairly and with respect.

“We want people to know that they are welcome in our community,” Grano said.