The City of Portland has struck gendered language from the city’s charter.
The council voted Thursday to replace ‘his or her,’ ‘he or she,’ ‘himself or herself’ references in the charter with gender neutral terms. The ordinance also instructs the city auditor to remove the references to “police women” and “police matrons.”
According to Chief Deputy City Auditor Amanda Lamb, the auditor’s office wanted to make some technical corrections to the document for the Charter Review Commission, which is tasked with reviewing the charter once each decade. While combing through the document for accuracy, Lamb said the office decided to strike the gender-specific language as well.
“We did it to make sure the city charter is as inclusive as can be,” said Lamb.
Usually, voters need to approve changes in the city charter. But there’s a section of the charter that allows the auditor “to delete use of terms which are masculine or feminine” as well as clean up the language for accuracy with the city attorney’s approval.