FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — The City of Fort Walton Beach approved an ordinance on Jan. 25 to use only gender neutral terms in city codes and ordinances.
The city council moved to pass Ordinance 2090, which eliminates gendered terms and replaces them with gender neutral ones. The new ordinance will affect both land development codes and the code of ordinances, which dictates how people will present and write new city rules and regulations.
The new ordinance will jumpstart a $6,000 project that will replace all of the gendered terms used in the code of ordinances. Gendered terms tend to be masculine or feminine words like “mailman or policewoman.” Terms like these will be swapped out with more gender neutral terms like “mail carrier or police officer.” Future ordinances will also use gender neutral language, meaning all of the new rules and regulations passed by the city council will include gender neutral language.
In most cases, the writer of these codes and ordinances use masculine terms like “he,” “him,” “policemen” and “chairmen.” The masculine terms used in city regulations exclude women and and other genders, including those who do not use masculine or feminine terms to describe themselves.
To promote the equality among all genders, the ordinance was passed 5-0. City council member MG Moran was uneasy about passing the ordinance, but he recognized its importance.
“I see the need for this, I’m not overly enthused about this, but I guess this is the society we live in,” said Moran.