At a packed Monday meeting, the
Kalamazoo City Commission unanimously voted to rescind legislation to
protect gays, reports the Kalamazoo Gazette.
On December 1, city leaders voted in
favor of protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people
from discrimination in the areas of housing, public accommodations
and employment. The Michigan city, population 77,000, joined 15
other cities in the state which have adopted similar laws.
But Monday's action is the result of a
local petition drive spearheaded by the state chapter of the American
Family Association, an ultra-conservative group responsible for
several nationwide boycotts against brands deemed too gay friendly,
McDonald's, Campbell's and PepsiCo included.
The group submitted 1,864 signatures on
December 31, nearly 600 more than required to suspend the law until
commissioners vote to repeal it or voters decide its future.
Instead, city leaders created a third
option. They withdrew the legislation with a promise to return with
a retooled one.
Opponents of ordinance 1850 cited moral
and religious objections to the ordinance.
“It muzzles the rights of the people
who disagree with these behaviors by not allowing them to decide how
to run their own business, their own properties,” Cheryl Post told
WWMT, a local CBS affiliate.
Commissioners hope to introduce a
revised gay rights bill in February.