After months of debate and a second vote, the Roeland Park, Kan., city council approved an anti-discrimination ban, granting equal protection regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
In July, council member Beck Fast missed the vote, saying she was in a car accident. The ordinance lost by a 4-3 vote. Fast was present for the vote Monday evening and tied the vote at 4-4. Roeland Park Mayor Joel Marquardt broke the tie and passed the ordinance.
“Almost 50 percent of U.S. is covered by a similar ordinance, and they are not having issues with religious freedom. They are not having bankruptcies due to lawsuits. It’s going very smoothly,” said Councilmember Jennifer Gunby, co-sponsor of the ordinance.
Those were some of the fears expressed by opponents of the measure before the vote.
Lawrence is the only other city Kansas to have a non-discrimination ordinance that includes sexual orientation and gender identity.