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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.
Comments 7
Anonymous commented on 19-Nov-2013 09:39 AM3 out of 5 stars
Fond du Lac is a very narrow-minded place to live. Of course this ordinance was voted down. I am not a transgendered or a gay person, but I see such people as no different from myself. We all need opportunities for equitable housing, among other things. Fond du Lac's close-mindedness will only continue to hurt itself economically and in terms of its reputation.

(Did I hear correctly that someone did say that "those people," apparently referring to transgendered/gay people, was afraid "they" would bring AIDS to our city? This would be something people would have heard in the 1980s, certainly not today. That's a clear example of the ignorance that prevails this city.)
Anonymous commented on 19-Nov-2013 11:28 AM3 out of 5 stars
We look like bigots.
Anonymous commented on 19-Nov-2013 05:10 PM3 out of 5 stars
I think you are all naïve. Why would anyone ask if you are transgender. Why would someone who is transgender even tell someone they are going to rent from. If they feel they were discriminated against there are already federal laws protecting them.
Anonymous commented on 19-Nov-2013 06:51 PM3 out of 5 stars
This is a non issue. Leave it alone
Georgiana commented on 19-Nov-2013 06:57 PM3 out of 5 stars
I am not familiar with the old ordinance, but as long as a tenant pays the rent and cares for the property I do not see what business it is of the landlord, or anyone else.
They can't discriminate against drunks or druggies, after all, whom, were I a landlord, I would be more hesitant to rent to.
Lauren August commented on 19-Nov-2013 09:30 PM3 out of 5 stars
The fact that we didn't pass this bill is shameful and embarrassing. Equality and acceptance should be the values we are passing on to our children, not hate, fear and offensive stereotypes. It is time for Fond du Lac to stop living in the past and start accepting the reality of the present. All people should have equal rights and it shouldn't even have to think about it.
Anonymous commented on 20-Nov-2013 12:27 AM3 out of 5 stars
In regard to Mr. Manning's statement....Isn't it quite unfair and dishonest of you to accuse Christians of using scare tactics to quelch the passing of this ordinance, when in fact it was you who caused this by sending out emails to groups actually promising them that this would include bathrooms, etc. Really, Mr. Manning, you need to be honest with everyone, including your supporters. Stop making Christians and Mr. Meyer your scapegoat.

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