The "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" ordinance was repealed by the Kalamazoo City Commission! That's the good news. The bad news is that they want to pass a new "compromise" ordinance instead. One doubts that a compromise is possible on this issue. Since it was repealed, there will not be any public vote on the ordinance.
City repeals gay-rights ordinance; commissioners hope compromise can be found
KALAMAZOO -- The Kalamazoo City Commission voted unanimously Monday night to repeal its new anti-discrimination ordinance, stopping a citywide referendum on creating a protected class for gay, lesbian and transgender individuals.
Commissioners talked individually over the past week, saying Monday they hoped a cooling-off period would allow for talks to negotiate a middle ground.
Monday's vote means there will be no citywide referendum scheduled on whether to keep the ordinance that banned gender-orientation discrimination in city housing, public accommodations and employment.
But Mayor Bobby Hopewell said he expects another ordinance will be offered.
Kalamazoo's religious leaders also took opposing sides.
The Rev. Michael Brown, director of the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, called the ordinance "polarizing" and confusing, while the Rev. Douglas Vernon, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo, said commissioners showed "courage and wisdom in passing this law."
Hopewell appointed Commissioners David Anderson, Stephanie Moore and Don Cooney to lead the new negotiations.