Mission councilwoman Sollie Flora to introduce non-discrimination ordinance offering protections to LGBTQ residents

Sollie Flora speaking at a candidate forum in 2017 ahead of her election to the council in November.

Another northeast Johnson County city will be taking up a non-discrimination ordinance that would offer city protections to LGBTQ residents not currently provided under state or federal law.

Councilwoman Sollie Flora has indicated her intent to bring a non-discrimination ordinance up for discussion at a council committee meeting Wednesday.

In an introductory message included in the meeting packet, Flora cites recent actions at the state and local level as motivation for brining the measure forward.

“I am bringing forward this proposal at this time because multiple residents approached me regarding the possibility of passing an NDO after Gov. Colyer signed the ‘Adoption Protection Act,’ also known as the ‘adoption discrimination bill,’ into law and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas passed its own NDO, both in May 2018,” Flora wrote.

NDOs prohibit discrimination against individuals in employment, housing or business transactions on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, among other categories.

“The intent of the ordinance would be to provide uniform legal protection within the City of Mission prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, marital status, familial status, or veteran status,” reads a memo from City Administrator Laura Smith introducing the item as part of the agenda for next week’s finance and administration committee meeting. “In addition, the ordinance would provide for and outline a complaint and enforcement process.”

Roeland Park approved a similar ordinance in 2014 after months of deliberation. And in Prairie Village, councilmembers Chad Andrew Herring and Tucker Poling were set to introduce an NDO this month — but a string of last minute cancelations by fellow councilmembers led to a lack of quorum and the issue being tabled. (Prairie Village administrators have announced that the NDO item will now come up as part of the agenda for the Oct. 15 council meeting).