The Saint Louis Board of Aldermen approved a bill last week that will add gender identity and expression to the city’s non-discrimination policy. The bill places gender identity and expression on a list of legally protected categories that already includes sexual orientation, according to Vital Voice Magazine. The measure, which was introduced by the city’s first openly-gay Alderman Shane Cohn, protects from discrimination in housing, accommodation, and employment. According to Cohn, extending these legal protections “has been long overdue,” reported Vital Voice Magazine. He continued, “In order to remain competitive in today’s marketplace and respect every member of the Saint Louis community, I am proud to have sponsored this bill.” A.J. Bockelman, Executive Director of PROMO, a LGBT advocacy group, told Vital Voice Magazine that the bill “is a great step forward not just for Saint Louis, but for all of Missouri.” He said, “as we increase the number of people covered by basic protections, we will reach a tipping point where the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act, extending these same protections to all LGBT Missourians, becomes the natural next step.” The ordinance, which was first introduced in late May, passed unanimously. It is expected to be signed into law this week by Mayor Francis Slay, reported the St. Louis Beacon.