As the current common council met for the last time Tuesday, members unanimously voted to make discriminating against atheism, and others who do not believe in God, illegal.
"This is important because I believe it is only fair that if we protect religion, in all its varieties, we should also protect non-religion from discrimination. It's only fair," ordinance sponsor District 18 Alderwoman Anita Weier said.
The vote amends the city's equal opportunity ordinance, adding atheism as a protected class in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations.
"There are many categories that are protected," Weier said. "And it did occur to me that if religion was then perhaps the opposite should be"
UW graduate student, and former Atheists Humanists and Agnostics president Chris Calvey was among the five atheists speaking in favor of the proposals.