Portland Considering Civil Rights Protection For Atheists

February 13, 2019

The city of Portland, Oregon may soon offer protection for atheists and agnostics by law.

 

Current law protects individuals based on race, religion, skin color, sex, marital status, familial status, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and source of income. Now a proposed ordnance would add "non-religion" to that list.

In 2015, Madison, Wisconsin became the first city in the US to offer such protection to atheists when a similar ordnance was passed. Thankfully, that ordnance passed without really attracting any opposition. Hopefully the same will happen in Portland.

 

Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who is introducing the ordnance today, said in a press release, “Portland has a large percentage of residents who identify as religiously unaffiliated. We need to make these changes to our Civil Rights Code to remove discriminatory barriers, so they may participate equally in employment, housing, and public accommodations in the City.”

 

The ordnance is scheduled to be voted on February 27th. I hope that it passes. More cities should enact legislation like this, and offer civil rights protections to everyone, regardless of whether we believe in God or not.

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