Today, the Savannah City Council and Mayor voted across the board to pass a local non-discrimination ordinance protecting people from discrimination on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity—among 5 other classes—in city employment, application, licensing and permitting.
Savannah is the second Georgia city to adopt LGBT-inclusive protections behind the city of Atlanta, which prohibits discrimination in housing and public places as well as employment.
Georgia is one of the only states that lacks a civil rights law banning discrimination. This makes local non-discrimination protections like Savannah’s all the more urgent.
Our own campaign chair, Jeff Graham, lauds the coastal city’s unanimous vote in support of LGBT rights, saying:
Cities all across our nation and state understand that these types of employment protections are simply the right thing to do. Measures like the one passed in Savannah today make it clear to city employees that the city of Savannah wants to attract and retain the best employees without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity.
The business reputation of Georgia and cities across the state has been a hot button issue in the lead up to the 2016 legislative session.
Some lawmakers are threatening to revive the toxic RFRA bill, despite devastating national backlash from the business community among others when an identical bill passed in Indiana last year.
According to two separate studies, if RFRA were to pass in Georgia, it could cost the state up to $2 billion dollars in lost revenue and slash up to 4,000 jobs.
Business organizations are not taking these projections lightly. Just earlier today, the Metro Atlanta Chamber said one of its number one priorities this legislative session is defeating discrimination legislation like RFRA that could potentially tarnish Georgia’s business reputation and have a negative impact on job growth.
Savannah has taken commendable steps today in adopting a pro-competition, fully-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance to protect its hardworking employees. The state of Georgia should follow its lead and take action to pass the Fair Employment Practices Act to protect all Georgia state employees from discrimination.SHARE THIS STORY