FDL City Council Votes Against Housing Discrimination Ordinance Change
After hearing more than three hours of testimony from the public both pro and con on amending the City's code of ordinances to include wording to cover transgenders who are victims of housing and public accommodation discrimination the Council voted down the change by a 5 to 1 vote tonight. Councilman Dan Manning who wanted the terms gender identity or expression included in the ordinance voted against the motion to deny the change and Councilwoman Catherine Block abstained saying the issue obviously needed more time for discussion given the public input on it. Manning said he was disappointed and felt the issue was rushed when it didn't need to be, but Council President Sam Meyer had asked for the special Council meeting to discuss and vote on the issue. A motion by Manning to table the issue failed to get a second. Several speakers questioned whether Manning ,who is openly gay, had an agenda when he was voted onto Council. Those speakers included former Councilman Rob Vande Zande and County Board Supervisor Jim Kiser. Manning said his only agenda was to try and make the City a better place to live. About 75 people got the opportunity to comment on the proposed change. The ordinance will remain the same. Many Council members felt it already adequately covers housing discrimination because there have been no complaints registered on behalf of transgenders in at least the last five years.
Councilman Dan Manning and Councilwoman Lee Ann Lorrigan. See Dan Manning's statement.
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