SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — An LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance passed by the Springfield, Mo., city council last October, was overturned by voters on Tuesday.
With more than 97 percent of the votes tallied, 51.4 percent of voters opted to repeal the ordinance, while 48.5 percent voted to retain the measure.
The vote comes following months of campaigning by advocates and opponents of the measure, which added sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected categories in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
The city council approved the ordinance by a 6-3 vote on October 13.
But any celebration was short-lived when, in November, an opposition group submitted more than 2,600 signatures to repeal the expansion through a ballot referendum known as Question 1.
Backers of the repeal effort said they didn’t want regulations expanding into their businesses, their churches, or their restrooms.
Article continues belowA.J. Bockelman, Executive Director of PROMO, a statewide LGBT advocacy group, called the vote disappointing.
“We are still here for each other, and we will still work together to continue to make Springfield a welcoming place for ALL people,” said Bockelman, in a statement. “Tomorrow, just as today, we continue working to achieve equality.”
Springfield is Missouri‘s third-largest city with about 165,000 residents.