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Human Rights bill could extend to St. Joseph County

At Tuesday night's County Council meeting, the board had it’s first reading of a new Human Rights Ordinance.

The Human Rights Ordinance would protect discrimination against those on the basis of sexual orientation, race, religion, disability and gender identity.

The bill is led by council President Rafael Morton, along with council members Mark Catanzarite and Diana Hess.

“If you’re going to basically tell someone based upon your gender, your race, or any other reason—personally I feel that’s discrimination,” said Morton.

Just like the smoking ban and the animal control ordinance, the county wants to mirror the human rights standards set by the city of South Bend.

The ordinance passed in South Bend four years ago.

“We aren’t recreating the wheel, we are trying to create representation no matter where you live: within the city or outside of the city,” said Morton.

This includes discrimination in employment, service, housing and education.

A committee meeting will be held October 25th, and a public hearing on November 15th.

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