Lawmakers in Tulsa, Oklahoma have voted in favor of protecting gay city workers from discrimination.

The 6-3 vote to add sexual orientation to the city's non-discrimination policy came two weeks ago. The policy already outlaws discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, political beliefs, age, ancestry and disability.

“This makes such a strong statement to the region on how Tulsa is a welcoming and sensible island in a state that is often ridiculed for being intolerant and unjust towards marginalized populations,” Kris Wilmes, director of advocacy for Oklahoma Equality, said in a statement.

Speaking against the measure during the June 17 meeting, Council Member Jim Mautino said he could not support the measure because of his religious beliefs. City Council Chairman Rick Westcott said he was against the measure because sexual orientation has not been recognized as a protected class by any court. Councilman John Eagleton said the measure would invite frivolous lawsuits.

Councilman G.T. Bynum noted that the law would protect everyone.

“Sexual orientation does not just apply to gay people,” he said. “If a straight city employee has a gay supervisor and is discriminated against, this would protect them just as quickly as it would the other way around. So this does apply to everyone.”

Oklahoma Equality said it would continue working to add gender identity to the policy's list of protected classes.