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Lansing Suburb Approves Gay Rights Ordinance

Monday Oct 28, 2013

Delta Township, Mich. - Officials in a Lansing suburb have voted to extend civil rights protection to gay people, and they're debating whether to ask Michigan to do the same.

The Delta Township board scheduled a discussion Nov. 4 on a resolution asking the state Legislature to amend the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to extend anti-bias protection based on sexual orientation.

Last Monday, the Eaton County community's board voted 6-0 to bar discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation against gay, bisexual and transgender people.

A standing-room-only crowd packed the board's chambers for the meeting, the Lansing State Journal reported.

"The question is, do we sit back and do nothing" while waiting for the Legislature to act, said Township Supervisor Ken Fletcher just before the vote. "I believe we have a moral obligation to act. We need to get these (protections) on the books."

"This is a very, very important ordinance," said Township Clerk Mary Clark. "My main absolute goal is to protect all persons in our community."

Local attorney David Kallman, an opponent of the ordinance, called it "seriously flawed." He said it means that "people of religious faith can't act on that faith."

Justin Lippi said he has experienced discrimination that would be probibited by the ordinance.

"The most powerful thing for me is not being fired or not being able to live in my house because people find out I'm gay," Lippi said.

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