By Georgia Equality

The Mayor and City Council of Savannah voted unanimously on December 10, 2015 to pass a non-discrimination ordinance that will protect city employees and applicants for employment from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age and disability status. Included in the ordinance are similar protections for licensing and permitting.

Georgia Equality applauds the addition of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the list of protected categories in the city’s non-discrimination ordinance. Savannah has long enjoyed a reputation of being a welcoming and diverse city, and this ordinance is an important step toward ensuring LGBT people feel safe and protected when visiting or residing in Savannah. Georgia Equality will continue to work with members of the City Council and the Mayor to add additional, necessary protections for LGBT people to city code.

On the passage of the ordinance, Georgia Equality’s Executive Director Jeff Graham said, “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. A special thanks is due to Alderman Van Johnson II for his leadership on this important ordinance. We at Georgia Equality look forward to continuing to work with Alderman Johnson and the rest of the City Council to make sure that LGBT citizens and visitors in Savannah feel protected and welcome in all aspects of their lives.”

Georgia Equality Board Member Billy Wooten of Savannah said this on the vote, “As a member of Georgia Equality’s Board of Directors, Board Chairman of First City Network, and a long-time resident of Savannah, I am delighted to see city leaders taking proactive steps to protect members of the LGBT community here in Savannah. While there is still much work to do, the passage of this ordinance represents one more step toward full equality and inclusion for Savannah’s LGBT community.”