The Johnson County Board of Supervisors has passed an ordinance that members say will give residents in the unincorporated areas broad human rights protection. On 5-0 vote, supervisors approved a human rights ordinance prohibiting discrimination not covered by the Iowa Civil Rights Act — including marital status and sexual and gender orientation.
Supervisor Pat Harney says it covers approximately 21-thousand of the county’s unincorporated residents. Harney says it covers protections not provided by the state human rights ordinance. Harney says they’re starting out without a commission to oversee these rights.
The ordinance also prohibits discrimination based on age, color and disability- areas currently covered by the Iowa Civil Rights Act. Harney says other cities could opt into the ordinance. Iowa City’s city ordinance includes sexual orientation protection while Coralville does not have a human rights ordinance. The ordinance is expected to take effect January 11.