JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – The matter of equality and inclusion for the LGBTQ community is a hot topic in the city of Jackson today.
Last night, the Jackson City Council met to discuss and vote on a non-discrimination ordinance and ultimately passed the first reading with a 4 to 3 vote.
The controversial ordinance is one step closer to reality today after nearly 400 people packed the Michigan Theater last night.
“It was really surprising,” said Jackson Vice Mayor & Council Member Derek Dobies.
“It was a really proud moment actually to see our council chambers overflowing,” Third Ward Council Member Daniel Greer stated.
Emotion was at an all-time high Tuesday night as citizens voiced their opinions on a non-discrimination ordinance aimed to protect the LGBTQ community when it comes to the work-place, housing and other public accommodations.
“We see this ordinance and the protections that it provides for sexual orientation and gender identity as a way to make our community stronger,” said Dobies.
Dobies is proud today that the first reading moved forward despite some opposition voiced at last night’s meeting…some of that coming from fellow Council Member Daniel Greer who voted against it.
“The exposure to litigation, the staff time and resources that could be incurred with this…I don’t want to expose the city to potential litigation,” Greer stated.
Community member Betty Kay Price is also against it, but for other reasons.
“I don’t see the point of putting people in a position where they have to be afraid of people, I find it very divisive,” Price added.
Even with those concerns, Dobies says he plans to continue to support the measure as it moves through with the next vote set for February 7th.
Stay with 6 News as we will continue to keep you updated as this moves forward.