Alabama leaders call on Birmingham to protect LGBT residents

LGBT leaders from Alabama submitted an op-ed to AL.com, calling on the city of Birmingham to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance that protects LGBT citizens. The leaders of Equality Alabama, Living in Limbo, and One Alabama joined the Human Rights Campaign and openly gay state Rep. Patricia Todd to praise the city of Birmingham for the advances it has made, and called on it to continue to build upon that foundation.

[N]ow we must confront the reality that in our state and in our city, still today, it is legal to discriminate against individuals who live, work, learn and play here based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Landlords may evict a tenant because they identify as transgender. A server can kick a lesbian couple out of their restaurant. An employer may fire a gay man not because of merit, but because of whom he loves. The majority of LGBT people in Birmingham are not white or economically privileged, and the absence of these protections creates an untenable level of vulnerability.

The time has come for boldness of spirit and of action. We are united in our commitment to the values of fairness and inclusion. The fabric of our community is strongest when it is sewn together with the multicolored threads of diversity and equality.

Safe places to live, work and eat are essential for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Such rights are inalienable. They can neither be given nor taken away. Instead, such rights must be protected for all.

Read the full op-ed at AL.com.