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South Bend city council to reconsider anti-discrimination ordinance

Friday, March 9, 2012
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A proposal to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation is back before the South Bend, Ind. city council.

Previous councils voted down similar measures by a 5-4 vote in 2006 and a 6-3 vote in 2010, but this year’s group appears to have enough “yes” votes to pass it, reported the South Bend Tribune.

The South Bend Human Rights Ordinance is written to ensure people in the city have equal access to education, employment, housing and public places, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, disability, national origin and ancestry.

A proposed amendment would add gender identity and sexual orientation to the list, though religious organizations would be exempt from those provisions.

Council member Gavin Ferlic told the Tribune that not only does he think the majority of the council supports to ordinance, “but, most importantly, we think that this is a community issue, and we think we have the support of the community on this bill.”

Evansville, Indianapolis and Marion County, Bloomington and Monroe County, and Lafayette, West Lafayette and Tippecanoe County already have LGBT-inclusive ant-discrimination ordinances, according to advocacy group Indiana Equality.

Ferlic said the language in the proposal is modeled after legislation that passed in 2005 in Indianapolis.

Read the story at the South Bend Tribune

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