On Thursday evening, the Austin City Council passed a resolution adding to the city’s non-discrimination policy, which already requires contracting companies to have a non-discrimination policy including sexual orientation and gender identity. Companies applying for a city contract will now have to submit a copy of their policy.
The resolution also included a provision requiring the city manager to amend all economic loan programs and incentives for businesses. Businesses applying for these will not be required to adopt domestic partner benefits or non-discimination policies inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity; however, both elements will now be a part of a company’s scoring during evaluation for said incentives. Providing domestic partner benefits and an inclusive non-discrimination policy will be viewed as a favorable part of an application.
The resolution was sponsored by straight allies in our City Council, Laura Morrison and Bill Spelman, and was passed on consent (all seven members voted for it). According to Marti Bier, Policy Aide to Ms. Randi Shade, the first openly gay City Council Member in Austin, Shade felt “truly appreciative that we have such a strong group of allies in our City that they would carry this forward.”
Atticus Circle would like to extend our thanks to the City Council members, and to Morrison and Spelman in particular.