Westwood adopts non-discrimination ordinance, becomes 12th JoCo city with legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals

The Westwood City Council on Thursday adopted a non-discrimination ordinance on a 4-1 vote.

Days after the largest city in the county adopted a similar ordinance, the city of Westwood on Thursday became the 12th city in Johnson County to adopt a non-discrimination ordinance with legal protections for people based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Mayor John Yé said the ordinance has been on the governing body’s plate for awhile, as council directed city staff began drafting the ordinance in June. Member of the council posed no questions and made no comments about the ordinance ahead of the 4-1 vote to adopt it. Councilmember Paul Day voted against the measure.

City Attorney Ryan Denk said the ordinance addresses the gap in federal and state laws to provide legal protections to LGBTQ+ individuals. With the adoption of the ordinance, the city’s laws prohibit the discrimination and retaliation against a person due to sexual orientation and gender identity. Additionally, the city will implement “a complaint and enforcement process to effectuate such protection,” according to city documents.

Westwood’s neighbors Mission Woods and Westwood Hills adopted their own NDOs earlier this year. The city of Fairway is in the process of reviewing a formal NDO for consideration by its council as well.