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Spokane looks to change how Municipal Code looks at gender identity | News

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Spokane looks to change how Municipal Code looks at gender identity
 Spokane looks to change how Municipal Code looks at gender identity

The Spokane City Council will soon vote to change the way the city looks at gender identity within city code. Councilman Jon Snyder has proposed an ordinance that would amend how the Spokane Municipal Code defines gender identity when it comes to non discrimination law.

The proposed amendment would provide gender identity it’s own definition within the code. Currently, gender identity is included within the definition for sexual orientation.


“I’m not sure it’s a real current reflection of how gender exists in our society,” Jon Snyder said of the current definitions in the Municipal Code. “People now understand that these are two separate things.”

The ordinance was brought to Councilman Snyder by the Human Rights Commission in an effort to sync the language in the city’s code to that in the Washington state code and bring the code in compliance with the American with Disability Act. The amendment would add military status and more specific wording regarding mental and physical disabilities to the list of things that cannot be discriminated against.

If passed, the Spokane Municipal Code would read:

The City values the dignity and worth of all human beings and is committed to promoting justice, equity and an inclusive environment by respecting cultural and individual diversity and fostering mutual understanding among all people regardless of race, religion,

creed, color, sex, national origin, marital status, familial status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, honorably discharged veteran or military status,or the presence of any sensory, mental or physical, disability as defined by the American with Disability Act and/or the Washington State Law Against Disability, Chapter 49.60 RCW.

While the inclusion of military status and disabilities are part of the state code, the addition of gender identity would be specific to Spokane.

“We’re trying to do state code one better,” said Snyder.

The Spokane City Council will vote on the ordinance to amend the Municipal Code on May 5th.


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