Last night, the Kalamazoo City Commission repealed an anti-discrimination ordinance that sought to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered residents of the city from discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations. The Commission voted down the ordinance rather than put it up for a citywide vote after receiving petitions from residents opposing the ordinance.
Opposition to the ordinance was spearheaded by the American Family Association of Michigan who collected signatures to force the city to either repeal the ordinance or put it up for a vote. The American Family Association of Michigan’s director Gary Glenn has said that such ordinances are “the bread-and-butter of [homosexuals’] national strategy.” An article in the rightwing World Net Daily said that:
“supporters of the campaign first seek so-called “non-discrimination” ordinances from local governments, then demand taxpayer subsidies for insurance for homosexual partners, Glenn explained. They then seek to incorporate protections for cross-dressing and other behaviors in state law and finally target the full legalization of homosexual marriage”
While Glenn has a history of emphasizing hyperbole over substance, the effort does mean that the ordinance is no longer on the books. The Kalamazoo City Commission is reportedly planning to put forward another ordinance in the future that would offer a compromise:
Mayor Bobby Hopewell: “My intent is that we will have an ordinance that will provide protections to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender individuals.”
There is no time line for when a new ordinance might be considered or when–and if–negotiations would take place between opposing sides. According to the Kalamazoo Gazette there had been no opposition expressed at previous hearings.