Tulsa City Council moving forward with new housing ordinance

TULSA, Okla. — The city of Tulsa is moving forward with new housing protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents.

The new ordinance brings Tulsa more in line with federal law and those working on the bill wanted to make sure that there were some religious protections put into place as well. 

Tulsa is closer to having a law that would require anyone dealing with housing and mortgages to treat citizens equally regardless of their sexuality.

"Anywhere where there is an issue of someone applying for something and anyone evaluating someone based off more than their merits, sadly, in this day and age we have to put protected classes in there," said Tulsa City Councilor Blake Ewing.

Ewing is a supporter of the new ordinance and hopes people will be fair to all potential tenants and buyers during housing transactions.

"If we've got any kind of governmental process where any kind of discrimination takes place, then it is our job to correct that," Ewing said.

Tulsa's LGBT community first asked for an equal housing ordinance more than 40 years ago, but Oklahomans for Equality says this is something better late than never.

"There are already hundreds of cities that have this and it's time Tulsa got it. We'll be one of the first cities in Oklahoma and one of the first few cities in the middle of the country that has it," said Toby Jenkins with Oklahomans for Equality.

Thursday was the first reading of the ordinance. Public comments will be heard next week and then a final vote can take place.