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West Hollywood Votes to Ban Fur Sales

It’s well-known for being the home of Sunset Strip, the Chateau Marmont and the House of Blues. It celebrates trendy fashion stores and liberal politics. It was home to Frank Sinatra, John Wayne and Howard Hughes. It was the first city to recognize same-gender domestic partnerships. And it has enacted various animal protection laws, including a ban on declawing cats.

Now West Hollywood has something of a cat fight on its hands, having taken the side of animal protection groups against fashion boutiques that sell fur.

A unanimous City Council vote last week to ban the sale of fur apparel has outraged the fashion industry, which is a key income producer for this very small city that’s wedged between Los Angeles and Beverly Hills.

Business leaders say more than 90 stores that sell fur stores will be hurt.

“We attract luxury brands from around the world, and their customers,” said Darren Gold, owner of a men’s clothing store, and chairman of The Avenues, the city’s designated fashion, design and art district. “This is basically saying that we no longer want those types of businesses to be in our city.”

But Councilman John D’Amico, sponsor of the ban, is proud that West Hollywood will be the first U.S. city to ban fur sales, and hopes other cities will follow suit.

“This is one small way to have a conversation about how we live in the world,” he said.

* For more, see USA Today or the Los Angeles Times.

What do you say? If you lived in West Hollywood, would you be willing to risk economic problems to the city and to yourself arising from a ban on fur? Let us know in a comment or on Facebook.