Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Up for Vote by Cheltenham Board This Wednesday

The Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners has scheduled a final vote on an anti-discrimination ordinance for Wednesday, Feb 15 at Curtis Hall.
The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.

The ordinance would create a local human relations commission that protects against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation as well as race, religion, ethnicity and age. Twenty-six other municipalities in the state have established similar institutions, including Springfield, Haverford and Lower Merion.

The proposed ordinance emphasizes mediation between parties and education to try to resolve and prevent situations involving discrimination. If mediation doesn’t work, an investigation can be made, with cases sent to the State Human Relations Commission, if the complaint is brought by someone on an issue protected by State law. If the complaint relates to an area of discrimination not protected by State law, such as sexual preference, the local Human Relations Commission would likely handle the case.

The law, as currently drafted, would cover housing, employment and public accommodations, such as transportation, buildings, hotels, restaurants, stores and schools, but would not include private clubs and religious organizations that do not accept public funds.