Kalamazoo, MI Votes to Protect its LGBT Citizens from Discrimination


Kalamazoo, Michigan, which has gone back and forth on an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance — approving it in December 2008 and rescinding it in January 2009 following petitions from the American Family Association — voted unanimously to adopt the measure last night. It will go into effect in July and prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people when it comes to hiring, housing and other accommodations.

Kalamazoo WOOD reports: "Changes were made to try and accommodate both sides, mainly making exemptions for religious organizations. Most of the ordinance's opposition comes from the organization's Michigan chapter, which argues mostly on the basis of religious views. The city manager will be in charge of enforcement. Businesses and housing organizations would face stiff fines if found to have discriminated against the gay community. However, opposition groups will have a chance to petition again. With 1,300 signatures, the ordinance would have to go before the commission for a third time. From there, the commission could rescind it, or put it before the Kalamazoo community for a vote in the next election."

Watch WOOD's report, AFTER THE JUMP...