The Birmingham City Council has passed a non-discrimination ordinance, imposing a fine on anyone who discriminates based on several protected statutes. The unanimously passed ordinance seeks to “prohibit discrimination on the basis of a person’s real or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or familial status.”
According to the Birmingham Business Journal, the ordinance takes several measures to ensure that discrimination is not tolerated within city limits. It changes the city code to require non-discrimination provisions to be included in municipal contracts. It also creates the Human Rights Commission, tasked with advising the mayor and city council on ways to end discrimination within the city.
Any person or entity convicted of discrimination in a Birmingham Municipal Court could be fined up to $500, according to the new ordinance. The defendant could appeal and receive a jury trial in Circuit Court. Proponents of the ordinance hope that it will end not only racial discrimination in the city, but also discrimination against other marginalized groups in society. They also hope that the ordinance will bring new business inside city limits.