Council overrides Soglin; Homeless become protected class

Council overrides Soglin; Homeless become protected class

The Madison Common Council overrode a veto from Mayor Paul Soglin Tuesday night to make homeless people a protected class.

The vote means homelessness will be put in same category as race, sex, religion, and disability as reasons that cannot be used to discriminate.

Soglin said he vetoed the measure because the city does not have the resources to support it.

In April, Madison became the first city to make discriminating against atheism, and others who do not believe in God, illegal.

The city’s long list of protected classes includes sex, race, religion, color, national origin or ancestry, citizenship status, age, handicap/disability, marital status, source of income, arrest record, conviction record, credit history, military discharge status, physical appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity, political beliefs, familial, student and domestic partner status, receipt of rental assistance and Social Security number disclosure.