Hutchinson City Leaders Amend Sexual Orientation Ordinance

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hutchinson City leaders amended an anti-discrimination ordinance to offer limited protection for gays and lesbians.

The city council approved the measure 3-2 in favor of limited protection based on sexual orientation. The ordinance would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, and employment.

Bob Bush, Vice Mayor, said he thought the wording in the ordinance was too strong, amending it to ban discrimination only in firing from a job and housing eviction based on sexual orientation. The wording does not cover discrimination based on whether someone is gay or bi-sexual for hiring, promotions or renting a home.

“I do believe in discrimination in employment and housing and we need to do something about it," Bush said.

Supporters said it was important for the city to acknowledge that discrimination does exist.

“It's a start to a realization that we have a group of people, not asking for something special, but equal,” said Ron Sellers, city council member.

City attorneys will rewrite the ordinance with the changes. The council is expected to vote on the measure again June 5.

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