Roeland Park Passes Anti-Discrimination Ordinance for the LGBT community

The Roeland Park, Ks. City Council met this evening to re-visit the July 21, 2014 vote that defeated the anti-discrimination ordinance because that vote did not have the full participation of the City Council. All members of the City Council were present this evening and the ordinance was re-introduced. Dan Nilsen of the Mid America Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce; Sandra Meade and Michael Poppa of Equality Kansas and other people spoke out in support of why this ordinance deserved a second vote by the full City Council. The vote was four/four pro/con with the deciding vote to approve by the Mayor's vote. The ordinance passed 5-4.
Of the citizens expressing their opinions, one citizen questioned why this has been reintroduced, followed by a gay business owner who spoke about why it should. Sandra Meade, state chair of Equality Kansas addressed the crowd and respectfully asked the city council to not allow people to think discrimination is okay in Roeland Park.
Dan Nilsen of the Mid America Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, (MAGLCC ) referred to the high demographic of young people in Roeland Park and how they don't want to see discrimination in their city.
Most proponents of this vote said they wanted a fair vote by all city council members since one city council member, Becky Fast, was absent at the last meeting. The people against the ordinance said the vote on July 21 was legal because their was a quorum vote
Five council members agreed to a consensus for a vote. City councilwoman Jennifer Gunby who had introduced the original anti discrimination ordinance with fellow councilwoman Megan England asked the council if they wanted to defer the vote to the next meeting if more time was needed. Councilwoman Becky Fast who was absent from the July 21 vote said she was not comfortable with a vote this evening and asked if this could even be deferred to next year asking for more time for studies and information. Councilwoman Theresa Kelly said the council has had ample time and background information prior to this evening.
The Council took a break and came back to resume the meeting and the final vote was a four-four tie. Roeland Park Mayor Joel Marquardt broke the tie with his yes vote in favor of the anti-discrimination ordinance.
After the decision several members of Roeland Park who were against the ordinance have spoken to the media and said they will be seeking to see if this ordinance can be brought to a future vote by the citizens of Roeland Park.
As of tonight's vote, the legislation will take effect January 1, 2015.

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