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.