The Syracuse Common Council this afternoon passed a local law extending civil rights to all people regardless of “gender expression.” Councilors voted 7 to 1 to approve a law that prohibits discrimination based on a person’s “actual or perceived sex, or their gender identity or expression.” Fourth District Councilor Khalid Bey cast the only no vote. Councilor-at-Large Helen Hudson was absent. The measure amends the city’s existing Fair Practices Law, which was passed in 1990 to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. Syracuse joins Buffalo, Ithaca, Rochester and six other New York municipalities that have passed similar legislation. Advocates plan to bring their case to state legislators in Albany in 2013. The Syracuse law prohibits discrimination in employment, public accommodations, housing, school, commercial space and public services. The law provides victims with legal grounds to sue in civil court.
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