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Holland City Council approves expanding anti-discrimination ordinance

Holland Mayor Nathan Bocks said the ordinance takes effect in 21 days.

HOLLAND, Mich — The Holland City Council approved expanding the city's anti-discrimination ordinance to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. 

The measure passed in an 8-1 vote around 2 a.m. on Thursday. The meeting, held in person, started Wednesday evening. Community members were given the opportunity to comment their thoughts on the amendment. 

Holland Mayor Nathan Bocks confirmed with 13 ON YOUR SIDE that the ordinance takes effect in 21 days.

Mayor Bocks made inclusivity a major part of his platform during his campaign, including increasing protections for the LGBTQ community on the lakeshore. “I’m very proud of our community this ensures every member of our community is treated equally," Bocks said.  

The ordinance extends protections to:

  • Employment
  • The advertising, listing, showing, inspection, negotiation, purchase, sale, exchange, ownership, or financing an interest in real property or the leasing or occupancy of real property 
  • Public accommodations
  • Public services

The ordinance does not apply to private clubs or other establishments not open to the public, religious education institutions, or some rental housing accommodations. 

Read the ordinance in full here.

If an individual believes that they were discriminated against in violation of the ordinance, it states they may file a written complaint within: (1) 180 calendar days from the date of the individual's knowledge of the allegedly discriminatory action; or (2) 180 calendar days from the date when the individual should have known of the alleged discriminatory action. 

If a complaint alleging a violation within the specified time frame is not filed, the complaint will not be considered by the City of Holland. If a complaint is received, the city said it will take action within 30 days, unless additional time is required. 

Any person who violates the ordinance shall be responsible for a municipal civil infraction, and could be subject to a fine up to $500. The city could also suspend or revoke a person's business license for violating the ordinance, as described in the Holland City Code.

The City of Holland said it would provide an annual report to city council at the end of each fiscal year regarding the complaints received and actions taken.

Watch the city council meeting here.

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