On August 16th we quoted a University of Utah law professor who said that laws to prohibit employment discrimination based upon sexual orientation are “a national trend.” We also reported on August 5th that business groups even in "red states" are concerned that their communities will be left behind in recruiting and commerce if they lack such protection, and noted that Idaho plans to “pay very close attention” to whether commerce or recruitment are affected by the lack of protection for sexual orientation.
Nonetheless, we noted that Jacksonville bucked this "national trend" by voting down such a law. We have just learned that we can add two Kansas towns — Salina and Hutchinson, to the list of cities which are similarly bucking the “national trend.”
In Salina, a new city ordinance prohibiting employment (and other) discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity went into effect on June 4th. However, a petition opposing this ordinance has been certified, which means that repeal will be left to voters.
In Hutchinson, a new ordinance was approved by the city council on June 5th, but prohibits only firing from a job because of a person’s sexual orientation. One citizens’ group has petitioned to expand the ordinance to prohibit all types of employment discrimination based upon sexual orientation, while another group seeks to repeal the ordinance. The City Council will consider the petitions on September 4th.