PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Words including she, he, herself and himself may be purged from Portland’s founding document.
The City Council will likely vote Thursday to remove all feminine and masculine terms from the city charter, substituting gender neutral wording, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
“The intent is to be more inclusive in our language,” said Amanda Lamb, chief deputy with the city auditor’s office, which drafted the proposed ordinance.
Such linguistic tweaks, more than five dozen in all, do not require a citywide referendum or voter approval like other amendments to the city charter.
A decades-old provision in the document allows the city auditor — with approval of the city attorney — to remove gendered language from it.
Lamb said the decision to propose the changes now is in anticipation of the upcoming Charter Review Commission, a citizen-led body that forms once every 10 years.
Despite its progressive proclivities, Portland would not be the first major U.S. city to strike gendered references from its charter. Philadelphia and Tulsa, Oklahoma both did so in the last year.
Berkeley, California has scrapped words such as manhole, brother and policeman from its law books.