At Capital City Alliance, we love equality, and we think Baton Rouge does too. That is why we have worked tirelessly with our statewide partner Equality Louisiana to secure equality and dignity for LGBT citizens in Baton Rouge. We are incredibly heartened by the fervor surrounding Councilwomen Marcelle’s ordinance. We are excited that, like countless other cities and a majority of Fortune 500 companies, the Baton Rouge business community has embraced fairness as an essential component of economic development and good citizenship. Moreover, the outpouring of support from grassroots efforts across the community proves Baton Rouge wants reasonable employment, housing, and public accommodations protections for all citizens.
The Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s CityStats poll showing 62% support for the ordinance confirms polling conducted by the Public Policy Research Lab on behalf of CCA and EQLA at the end of last year. Over 91% of respondents in Baton Rouge disapproved of people being evicted or denied housing because they are gay or transgender. Likewise, nearly 89% of Baton Rouge residents said employers other than churches or religious organizations should not be able to fire employees because they are gay or transgender.
This polling data combined with the flood of public support over the last few weeks confirms that Baton Rouge believes in fairness. The people of East Baton Rouge Parish, its businesses, and our community leaders all know that fairness is good for the viability and growth of our city and parish. We believe the Metro Council will not be far behind.
If Councilwomen Marcelle’s ordinance passes this Wednesday, we will work to ensure the law provides full protection for the entire community. We intend to work with all stakeholders in order to ensure the ordinance is effective and fulfills its purpose. To that end, we are committed to working with the Council and community leaders to update the ordinance as necessary to ensure fair and just treatment of all Baton Rouge citizens.
Should the ordinance not receive the support it needs to pass, CCA and EQLA will continue our efforts to pass a local law that protects citizens from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.