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Topeka council bans discrimination against LGBTQ persons

FILE - In this June 30, 2019, file photo parade-goers carrying rainbow flags walk down a street...
FILE - In this June 30, 2019, file photo parade-goers carrying rainbow flags walk down a street during the LBGTQ Pride march in New York, to celebrate five decades of LGBTQ pride, marking the 50th anniversary of the police raid that sparked the modern-day gay rights movement. Democrats flooded Twitter and email inboxes this week with praise for the watershed Supreme Court decision shielding gay, lesbian and transgender people from job discrimination. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)(Wong Maye-E | AP)
Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 5:24 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Topeka City Council has voted to expand the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance to include LGBTQ residents and military veterans.

The council unanimously approved an the ordinance Tuesday that prohibits discrimination in work, housing and public accommodations because of gender identity, genetic information, sexual orientation or veteran status.

The ordinance also was updated to prevent discrimination through telecommunication, which includes harassment over social media, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

A first offense could result in a misdemeanor charge, a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. A second offense carries a possible $2,500 fine and up to one year in jail.

“Stuff like this still goes on in the workplace, at home, at schools, everywhere,” said council member Sylvia Ortiz. “Until we change our hearts and until we change our thinking process … that is when it’ll change.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.