Clarkston becomes 3rd city to pass non-discrimination ordinance

The historic ordinance passed Tuesday night.

The historic ordinance passed Tuesday night.

Clarkston, known as “the most ethnically diverse square mile in America,” has become just the third city in Georgia to pass an ordinance protecting against discrimination from businesses based on sexuality, race, religion and other traits.

Doraville passed a similar ordinance last November, mirroring legislation the city of Atlanta enacted in 2001.

Clarkston’s ordinance prevents discrimination on the basis of sexuality, race, religion, sex, disability, national origin, age, ancestry or military status. It applies to businesses, housing and employment.

It provides people an avenue to formally complain to the city that they were discriminated against, and puts a process in place to investigate the complaint.

Businesses are required to provide a copy of the ordinance to their employees in the next three months.


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The City Council passed the ordinance Tuesday night by a vote of 4-1, with one abstention. The city said it worked for six months on the rules, Councilmember Andrea Cervone said.

“This ordinance is an important step for our city to truly codify our stance as welcoming to all, and is critical to our ability to safeguard our neighbors’ civil and human rights,” Cervone said in a statement.

The ordinance follows a trend of progressive local laws for the relatively small central DeKalb city. It was the first city in the state to raise the minimum hourly wage to $15 for city employees, make Election Day a holiday and decriminalize small marijuana possession.

Chamblee is set to vote on its own non-discrimination ordinance later this month.

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Channel 2's Richard Belcher reports.