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The Flagstaff City Council unanimously gave its initial approval tonight to the city's first civil rights ordinance.

The new law would exceed state and federal laws by creating legal protections for sexual orientation, gender identity and military veterans in the areas of employment and public accommodations, such as hotels and restaurants.

Excluded from the ordinance are religious-based organizations, "expressive groups" like the Boy Scouts, businesses of fewer than 15 employees and most government agencies, including Coconino County.

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Fines were also lowered from $2,500 to a maximum of $500, with an option to waive penalties on the first offense.

For more on the story, see Wednesday's Arizona Daily Sun.

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