La'Toria Willis Thomas
Published on June 30, 2014
THE FAIRNESS ORDINANCE: JUST THE FACTS FACT: The Ordinance does not create a new legal framework, add additional expenses to the City Parish budget or create any new department or enforcement mechanisms. It draws from existing parish, state, and federal laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, and age – and extends those same protections to gender identity, sexual orientation, and status as a veteran. FACT: There are currently no federal, state, or local laws that prevent someone from being denied housing, employment, or the use of public accommodations based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. None. FACT: Violations of the Ordinance are not criminal, and the Ordinance encourages people to resolve their differences privately before seeking a legal resolution. FACT: The Fairness Ordinance explicitly exempts religious organizations and educational institutions operated by religious organizations. FACT: The Ordinance does not promote any group or status. It does not prevent employers from enforcing a dress code or taking into account merit testing or performance when making hiring, promotion, or termination decisions. FACT: The Ordinance has nothing to do with marriage or domestic partnerships, and it does not require employers to recognize domestic partnerships or offer new benefits to employees. FACT: The Fairness Ordinance does not impact existing laws that prohibit indecent behavior — that is already against the law. The ordinance does not prohibit the use of separate restrooms, changing rooms, or shower facilities. This is about basic fairness. No more. No less.