ALABAMA: Birmingham City Council Approves Sweeping LGBT Anti-Discrimination Protections, First In State

Via press release:

Today, HRC hailed the Birmingham City Council for passing city-wide non-discrimination protections that include sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, public accommodations and employment. This ordinance is the culmination of more than ten years of work from local LGBTQ grassroots organizers and a pro-equality coalition including Equality Alabama and HRC.

“Today, the City of Birmingham made history in Alabama by taking a crucial step toward ensuring LGBTQ residents are protected from discrimination,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “In doing so, Birmingham joins Jackson and Magnolia, Mississippi in setting an example for cities across the South to follow. Now, it is time for all southern cities to guarantee the right of LGBTQ people to live their lives free from discrimination.”

Birmingham’s citizens will be the first in the state to be protected from discrimination in housing, public accommodation and employment on the basis of real or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or familial status. The ordinance also provides for the creation of a Birmingham Human Rights Commission to “promote principles of diversity, inclusion, and harmony in the City of Birmingham,” to advise the City Council and Mayor, and to receive complaints of discrimination under the ordinance.

Birmingham Mayor William Bell is a Democrat.

  • Judas Peckerwood

    If only the rest of Alabama’s political leadership reflected the diversity and sense of Birmingham’s city council…

    • Dean Chambers

      No old white men!

  • Starr Manning’s Lesbian Lover!

    And the bigots in the Alabama Legistislature begin work to ban this now…

    • Palmer

      I was going to say the same thing. Well done!

  • The Sentinel

    Well Alabama is the gayest part of America.

  • PickyPecker

    Their state legislature will step in and outlaw cities from doing these things. Wait for it.

    • Michael E Harrison

      They always do. Just like overriding an increased minimum wage.

    • Hank

      But, But, But… State’s, er CITY RIGHTS!!!!

  • Gustav2

    How soon will the state legislature negate this?

    • Ninja0980

      As soon as they get back in session.

  • pch1013

    And another thousand fascists just flipped to Moore.

    • Lizard

      The timing sure is convenient. I wonder if they passed this today in tacit protest of the Republican goons vying for the senatorial nomination.

    • Todd20036

      Big whoop

    • Tawreos

      I doubt it will change the outcome much

      • Lizard

        Turnout is expected to be extremely low.

        • Tawreos

          Even the GOP doesn’t really like their choices.

          • Lizard

            They both do suck pretty hard.

  • Mike in Texas

    Congratulations, Birmingham!

  • Tawreos

    “Birmingham Mayor William Bell is a Democrat.”

    No shit

    No offense intended =)

  • yea well….trump will tweet about this. cause a commotion. whipping people into a white lather.
    Moore ain’t gonna stand for this either.
    Fuck those Bitches!!
    Well done Birmingham!

    • Ninja0980

      They deserve all the praise they can get.

      • Lizard

        Exactly. We need to encourage actions like this and every little bit counts. We know how much backlash they’re going to get.

        • GloriaEPresley

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        • LauraJHarris

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  • MountainBoy

    Birmingham is our gayest, bluest city.

  • Nic Peterson

    Congrats Birmingham! I doubt the rest of Al-abama is going to be as celebratory. Be prepared to hold your ground.

  • JWC

    What with no kicking screaming protest No Gawd will bring eartquaked and Hurricanine and no raft of inbred preachers rants

    • earthquaked.
      OT, an ex of mine always called earthquakes “earthquicks”.
      What the Fuck is an earthquick?

      • Tawreos

        rapid sex in a cave?

        • Lizard

          Rapid sex during an earthquake?

      • JAKvirginia

        Easy way to make mud pies?

        • Jefe5084

          “It’s eartquicks and bake. And i helped!”

      • -M-

        He seems confused.😁 But “quick” can mean alive or moving as if alive. The quick and the dead, quicklime, quicksilver, quicksand.

  • Lizard

    This is tangentially related, but I found this bit in an article about the runoff election and just…I have to share.

    At one polling place in downtown Montgomery, the state capital, only eight voters appeared over the course of an hour. One of them, Mable Greenwood, 58, said she had voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election but was now supporting Moore. “The world, I don’t think it’s going to be here too much longer,” she said, explaining her attraction to Moore’s religious message. “Everything that the bible said is going to happen, it is happening.”

    What the actual fuck.

    ETA: This is the link, btw, for anyone wanting to read the insanity in full.

    • JWC

      She has her thots Give her the phone nunber of that old bat who speaks in tounges

      • Lizard

        Opal Covey?

        • JWC

          Ah yass Blee her little hard heart

        • Tawreos

          She would probably have done a lot better if she ran down there, they are a lot more tolerant of crazy down there.

          • Lizard

            She’d still stand no chance against someone like Moore. She just says she’ll value the Bible over rule of law. Moore has the history to prove it!

            (Gag me.)

          • Tawreos

            Don’t underestimate the power of that gibberish she likes to spout when she has one of her episodes. Many christians eat that shit up.

    • bambinoitaliano

      Essentially she is saying I try to help but you guys fuck up. I am leaving a nice fuck you gift for you assholes!

    • bambinoitaliano

      I can sort of relate. Being a single man, I don’t have much stake in this. It can be exhausting and tiresome to battle idiots trying to do the right thing. Be it preserving the environment or making strive in social issues that will benefit everyone. Some day I feel like throwing in the towel and tell them to just go fuck themselves. It’s like trying to wrestle a gun away from someone who is pointing one at his head.

      • Ragnar Lothbrok

        Never give in.

    • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

      Everything that Nostradamus predicted can be interpreted as having happened, too. It’s all in how you filter your chosen flavor of reality.

    • SFBruce

      If Donnie keeps up this game of chicken with North Korea, I’m afraid the world won’t be around much longer either. Either of these jokers won’t help in that regard, though. If Moore wins, which seems likely, at least it might weaken Trump a bit.

  • justmeeeee

    Any comments from Da Judge?

  • The_Wretched

    How long until the Republican Alabama State legislature passes a bill to override Birmingham?

    • Lizard

      Depends. How soon are they back in session?

      • The_Wretched

        It’s a good thing over all that cities are passing positive legislation. I have hope that at some point we’ll have decent State legislators again and when the ‘protection ban’ laws get killed, the local stuff will spring back.

  • JWC

    On a more serious note Kudos to you for your insight

  • Rebecca Gardner

    OK. I’m done with the news for today. Can’t take it any more. On a fun note, that’s me in the back-right with the gas mask on.

    • PickyPecker

      YAY, RG! Looks like you all had a good time!

      • Rebecca Gardner

        I did have an awesome time. This is me yesterday morning wearing only my heavy latex catsuit before I got into more and more and more of my gear. Such an amazing week for me. Folsom is like my Christmas.

        So, here’s kinky old lady me…

        • Rebecca Gardner

          UGH! I have no idea why Disqus insists on posting all my pix 90degrees clockwise !

          • Canadian Observer

            Maybe it thinks you have fallen and can’t get up?

        • PickyPecker
          • Jefe5084

            That flamingo’s got it goin’ on. Workin’ the beach scene.

        • Circ09

          Ugh. At my age and hormones I’m more interested in stripping it all off and running free. The idea of sweaty latex makes me shudder and not in a good way. But I’m happy you are enjoying yourself, your way!

    • Harveyrabbit

      Similar to what I once wore to a Hot Chili eating contest.

  • Rex

    Alabama – the Bi-polar state.

    • Lizard

      Nah. Most states have blue cities. Georgia’s the same way.

      • Ninja0980

        Same with Blue states as well.
        There are parts of NY that can put Alabama to shame and that is no joke.

        • Lizard

          Same with California. 30% of voting Californians went for Trump.

          • Ninja0980

            It’s worse in a way because the folks in our neck of the woods (assuming you live in CA) know they live in a blue state.
            Thus their bigotry won’t become law and they HATE that.
            And will gladly let anyone (like my cousin and his wife) know that.

          • Lizard

            I’m in Georgia, but have roots in Cali. I was born there, lived there for several years, and have family there now.

          • BudClark

            I moved from Ohio to California in 1976, in what turned out to be a BAD professional move. BUT, in 2017, I thank whatever gods there may be! Depending on how things go nationally, I may have well saved my own life.

            I was very upset about the latest “Deathcare” bill, when a friend of mine pointed out,

            “Bud, you’re in California. We’re on the verge of getting statewide single-payer. In any case, our majority Democratic legislature has already said REPEATEDLY that they won’t allow ‘Deathcare’ to happen to Californians.”

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    So how long til the dicks that “love local control” squash this?

  • kaydenpat

    Great. Hopefully won’t be overridden by the GOP-controlled state government.

    • Treant


      Decentralized government…but not if you approve of fags, abortion, or higher taxes.

      • Friday

        Or labor rights/pay for workers.

  • Treant

    From Birmingham, I would expect this. Their motto is “Forward.”

    I prefer “The Magic City,” and compliment them on attracting rainbows and unicorns. You go, Birmingham. You go.

  • Lazycrockett
    • Treant

      I will not rest until midnight, Sunday morning. Plus fifteen minutes for illegal clock finagling.

      • Lizard

        “Plus fifteen minutes for illegal clock finagling.”

        You know what’s sad? I can’t tell if you’re kidding. We all know they’d do it if they could get away with it.

        Someone tell the Dems to set midnight alarms on smartphones that are synchronized to atomic clocks.

        • Treant

          I’m not kidding. More than once the clerk has been ordered to record an earlier time than the bill was passed. They always refuse…or at least, that we hear of…

    • Lizard

      McConnell knows they’ll lose. Lol. Back into your shell, little turtle.

      • jerry

        Yeah, I don’t think it’ll come up for a vote because last time was just really embarrassing for Sen. Turtle.

      • BudClark

        Turtle Man is now Turtle SOUP, finally.

    • bambinoitaliano

      4 more days is still a very long time when the deplorables hell bend on pleasing their corporate overlord.

  • Ninja0980

    O/T but for anyone wanting to come to parts of NY to look at the fall leaves, I would wait another week or two.
    Have scouting reports (and photos) that are a lot different from the official NY state website on the leave change.
    I would recommend waiting a couple more weeks, then everything should be in full bloom.
    Now back to our program.

    • CharlestonDave

      Anybody know first-hand the status of the western North Carolina and Blue Ridge mountain leaves? The national maps say this week and next but I’m wondering whether to wait.

  • S1AMER

    Bravo, Birmingham!

  • TheManicMechanic

    How long until the Alabammy state government does an end run around this to nullify it and prevent this from being done in the future? Congrats to all who have worked so hard to make this actually happen.

  • ClevelandJim

    Wow, a major southern city without a single cranky, old, white man on city council! Uncle Peter, my smellin’ sawlts!

    • Jefe5084

      I swear, I got the vapors, too. Just seeing that picture.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Not to worry, I’m sure the Governor and the legislature will soon do all they can to crush this small move towards equality…because in ‘Bama, they don’t cotton to no queers bein’ equal.

    • JAKvirginia

      Sadly… yes. Expecting Roy Moore’s tweet in 3… 2… 1…

    • Ann Kah

      Birmingham’s a metropolis. The small towns and rural areas are another country altogether.

  • Ken M

    I soooo hope there are anti gay bakeries there. 😉 What can I say, I hope SCOTUS goes against the baker.

  • skyweaver

    Well done, Birmingham! And thank you so much for momentarily knocking Twitler and NFL drama off the news, and in a smashingly positive way. Also, take note, right wing, this is just going to keep happening

  • ted-

    I’ll give them a few days before they change their minds.

  • Anastasia Beaverhousen

    Birmingham is the hole in the bible belt.

  • White LGBT people should look at that photo. Our fight is their fight. I hope we think about that the next time we think their fight isn’t ours.

    • i thought of that story about a british duke or prince or something, and some royalty at another country that was totally unlike what was found in england at that time. some aristo racists asked the duke, “why are we showing them honor, my lord? look at them.” and the duke replied, softly and behind his drink, “because, you dolt: if they are not royalty neither are we. now shut up and smile.” in a more modern age it can be damn hard to stay ahead of science in the ‘reasons we are your rulers’ category.

  • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

    Six men of color and three women. We need more of that, and fewer old white guys!

    • -M-

      More of that and better white guys.
      (edit: Also there are 4 women.)

      • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

        Heh. Math is hard, says Barbie. 😉

    • FelineMama

      I hope Mr. Dylan is right: “The Times They are A-Changin'”

  • Matthew Davie

    Countdown to the backlash which will enshrine a state-level constitutional amendment prohibiting these protections starting in 5…. 4…. 3…. 2…

  • FelineMama

    Kudos Birmingham! Thanks from the LGBTQ community for all your hard work for so long! Now, can you move in to the WH & show them how it’s done.

  • This will last for about four seconds before they make this kind of thing illegal statewide. Still, good news, especially from Alabama!

  • Silver Badger

    Time for midnight special session of the Al Abama legislature!

  • SFBruce

    This is good news. That said, Birmingham is in Jefferson county, which is one of a handful of counties Clinton won in 2016. I hope there won’t be a backlash. It’s a good first step for Alabama, and I’ll take any good news we can get these days.

  • Bj Lincoln

    Lets hope it doesn’t turn into another Houston.

  • david fairfield

    Hmmm. Shades of North Carolina. I’d like to be really happy about this, but I don’t believe this is permanent. It will be appealed and reversed in 5….4….3….2….

  • fuzzybits

    Only one city in Alabama and it only took until 2017!

  • AdamTh

    When Roy Moore loses the GOP runoff, he will start a campaign to overturn this ordinance

  • Jmdintpa

    I’m from Alabama. This won’t stand. Trust me.

  • stanhope

    And what strikes you about this image? Overwhelmingly people of color…remember that next time you are on grindr.

  • how would i sell something likes this? jobs, culture and restaurants. better music and shopping too, if done right. become the first true mecca in your state and reap the financial benefits. we have money, we often don’t have kids or have them in a slightly different way. every state needs a blue zone where progressive ideas are common. even in southern states. it makes for money and better living to have a large population of our community. for everyone.

  • John Smith

    I wonder if they had to pass this for the Amazon headquarters? In any case. Good job.

  • Sporkfighter

    “Birmingham Mayor William Bell is a Democrat.”

    Thank you, Captain Obvious!

  • ‘Til Tuesday

    I’n fully expecting the state legislature to pass a law baring cities and counties from passing an ERO that includes categories not listed in state law. That’s what they did in my state (Tennessee) overriding the ERO in Nashville. Unfortunately it’s going to be along time before the Southern states add protections to state law. Nevertheless, we fight on.

  • Akrontru

    I’m 65, and I’ve spent too much time in the South. I almost got into heart-warming, relaxed state . (Not really.)

    We queers have an advantage here. We’ve been coming-out, and it’s difficult for our aunts and uncles to hate us. They still hate lots of others.

    I’m too tired to frame this. It’s just a rant. I am so fucking sick of racist queers. In every gay bar (Akron, Ohio here.) I’ll always fight for for every put upon gay kid, or bashed adult, but we seem to not mind about cops killing other minorities. Were you there when, can you relate to cops fucking queers over?

    no answers. just pique.

  • UrsusArctos

    I’m unsure this will stand because almost ANYTHING a city/county wants to do has to go through the legislature. “Home Rule” is defined very oddly in AL. It was done that way so the planter/landowner/industrialists that controller the legislature got their way when the 1901 constitution was written. The AL constitution is YUGE because of all the amendments concerning extremely local issues.

  • John Smith

    Oh well. Good job trying to get Amazon here, but then you had to elect Roy Moore. You Should start taking down the boxes now.

  • Barbara Watson

    I had to read this twice. Alabama is doing something good for people? GOOD ON YOU!

  • JCF