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Appleton outlaws housing discrimination based on gender

APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - Appleton has become the third city in Wisconsin to prohibit housing discrimination based on gender identities. 

The city's diversity coordinator, Kathy Flores, says there are no state or federal protections for trans-gender individuals, and those with non-conforming genders. 

She says everyone is either male or female at birth -- but that can change, and it's up to cities to protect those in the grey areas. 

Landlords that deny rental housing to trans-gender individuals can be fined up to $10,000 under the new Appleton ordinance. 

Only Madison and Milwaukee have similar protections in Wisconsin. They're among 160 cities and 17 states which prohibit housing discrimination based on both gender and sexual orientation. 

Wisconsin became the first state to set up anti-discrimination laws for gay residents. Katie Belanger of Fair Wisconsin says many trans-gender residents still face discrimination when they look for new housing throughout the state.