The Oklahoma City Council on Tuesday approved an ordinance that prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The vote was close, 5-4, and came after an hour of public debate.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, a Republican, backed the ordinance, saying that he thinks “discrimination is wrong.”

According to the Oklahoman, no public opposition was expressed at Tuesday's meeting.

Councilman Mark Stonecipher, a “no” vote, questioned whether the protections were needed.

“Through HUD and the civil rights division of the attorney general's office, there should be complaints that are being filed and there should be empirical evidence of whether we know the answer to that and I don't think we have that,” he said.

Troy Stevenson, executive director of Freedom Oklahoma, applauded passage.

“We have a lot more to do,” he told NewsChannel 4. “We need to get employment protections and protections in public spaces. We're proud of the council. We're glad they took this step and it's a great day for Oklahoma City.”

The ordinance takes effect on Thursday, February 4.