Wednesday, September 5

Coralville to Consider Human Rights Ordinance

City leaders here are considering adopting a human rights ordinance for Coralville that prohibits discrimination based on age, race, religion, sexual orientation and other personal reasons.“We probably waited a little longer than we should have but we're ready to move forward,'' Mayor Jim Fausett said at a recent council meeting.

Although cities with populations of fewer than 29,000 people are not required to form human rights commissions, growing cities like Coralville, whose estimated population is 18,000, are being encouraged to take early steps and adopt ordinances.

Cities like Decorah and Grinnell already have formed commissions, even though their populations are less than 29,000.

Ralph Rosenberg, executive director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, has urged the Coralville council to form a human rights commission because of the city's growth. “We want Iowa to be a welcoming state, and you can play a major role here,'' he said.

Fausett said the council is interested.

The Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965 was changed on July 1, adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected personal matters when dealing with employment, housing, credit, public accommodations and education.

Johnson County adopted a human rights ordinance that took effect at the beginning of this year, banning discrimination based on age, color, race, national origin, creed, religion, disability, marital status, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

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