Salina Rallies As Controversial LGBT Ordinance Up For Repeal

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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Monday, October 22, 2012

In May, the Salina City Commission gave final approval to a new ordinance granting new protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the areas of housing, employment and public accommodation.

Tonight at the Salina Bicentennial Center, a religious rally against the ordinance took place where nearly 200 people attended.

"It's frustrating because there was a lot of talk that there weren't really any complaints that the city was acting based on. Plus, the city didn't take into consideration in ways to craft this ordinance to maybe take into effect some of the concerns the churches, businesses, and organizations were raising," said Andrew Couch, organizer of the Vote Yes rally.

The group against the ordinance says it infringes on religious liberties but a group that supports the ordinance says it protects equality.

"It deeply saddens me that this type of rights would be coming up to a vote. It's just basic fairness and equality," said Scott Graybeal, organizer of the Vote No group.

The group opposing the repeal of the ordinance had nearly two dozen people hold signs outside of the religious rally.

The current ordinance does not provide exemptions for churches or religious institutions who may have religious beliefs against gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender individuals. Business owners and landlords could be subject to legal action should a legitimate business decision adversely affect an LGBT individual.

Throughout the summer, the group against the ordinance worked to collect more than 2,000 signatures seeking the repeal of this ordinance. On Aug. 21, the petition was delivered to the city clerk.

The city voted to put the issue on the November ballot. On Nov. 6th, Salina registered voters will get to decide on whether or not to repeal the ordinance.

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