Memphis includes gays under anti-discrimination

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The Memphis City Council has included sexual orientation and gender identity in an ordinance that bans discrimination in city hiring.

The Commercial Appeal reported council members voted 9-4 on Tuesday to amend the employment ordinance. It applies to only City of Memphis employment and not to private companies operating in the city.

City code and policy already barred discrimination based on a number of factors that include race, religion, age, disability and other factors.

Paul Houghland of the Family Action Council of Tennessee said the change put the city on "a slippery slope" toward erosion of the traditional family.

But the Rev. Valentine N. Handwerker of the Cathedral for the Immaculate Conception urged passage, saying the City Council could turn the page on another form of discrimination.

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