Palm Springs, CA
The City of Palm Springs made history last week when it became the first city in the nation to take a stand on the Equality Act of 2015.
The Palm Springs City Council voted its unanimous support of the Act as another step in its ongoing efforts to help assure civil rights and protections to the LGBT community.
The Equality Act of 2015 is currently under consideration in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. If passed it will become an amendment to the 1964 Civil Rights Act and finally ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex in employment areas, housing, public accommodations, public education, and federal funding. In essence, the law would add sexual orientation and gender identity to most federal laws that protect others based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
The law would also authorize the Department of Justice to bring a civil action if it received a complaint from an individual who claimed he/she was denied equal utilization of a public facility owned, operated, or managed by a state (other than public schools or colleges) because of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity; and/or when an individual is denied admission to, or not permitted to continue attending, a public college by reason of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The action by the council was of special significance to members of the Palm Springs LGBT community coming as it did during Pride Month and also on the heels of the Orlando Massacre.
Palm Springs City Council members are hopeful their action will motivate other municipalities to take a visible stand on this issue.