Monday, May 24, 2010

Fix it with policy

I read in a Washington Post article that Howard County has a law that prohibits discrimination based on looks:

We also have enough experience with prohibitions on appearance discrimination to challenge opponents' arguments. Already, one state (Michigan) and six local jurisdictions (the District of Columbia; Howard County, Md.; San Francisco; Santa Cruz, Calif.; Madison, Wis.; and Urbana, Ill.) have banned such discrimination. Some of these laws date back to the 1970s and 1980s, while some are more recent; some cover height and weight only, while others cover looks broadly; but all make exceptions for reasonable business needs. [Emphasis mine]

The actual law is here. Here's the gist:

Sec. 12.200. Public policy.
I. Equal Opportunity in Howard County. The Howard County Government shall foster and encourage the growth and development of Howard County so that all persons shall have an equal opportunity to pursue their lives free of discrimination.
II. Discriminatory Practices Contrary to Public Policy. Discrimination practices based upon:
National origin,
Marital status,
Political opinion,
Sexual orientation,
Personal appearance,
Familial status, or
Source of income
are contrary to the public policy of Howard County.
III. Eliminating Discriminatory Practices. The Howard County Government shall direct its efforts and resources toward eliminating discriminatory practices within Howard County in:
(1) Housing,
(2) Employment,
(3) Law enforcement,
(4) Public accommodations,
(5) Financing, and
(6) Any other facets of the lives of its citizens where such practices may be found to exist.
IV. Encouragement of Voluntary Affirmative Action Programs. The Howard County Government shall encourage the adoption and maintenance of voluntary affirmative action programs.
(C.B. 2, 1983; C.B. 138, 1991; C.B. 68, 1992)


jessiex said...

oh, puh-leeeeeeeze!