The Kalamazoo City Commission has unanimously passed a gay protections bill for the second time, the Kalamazoo Gazette reported.

The new city ordinance, which passed Monday, makes it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity (transgender protections) in the areas of housing, public accommodations and employment in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Last December, city leaders approved a similar measure but were forced to rescind the protections a month later after a local chapter of the American Family Association (AFA) submitted sufficient signatures to suspend the law until commissioners vote to repeal it or voters decide its future.

Hundreds showed up for new subcommittee hearings on the issue in March, where the debate turned heated. And while the ordinance exempts churches and renters of a residence where they live, opponents roundly denounced it as an attempt to discriminate against religious groups.

Speaking in March, Mary Balkema, of the Kalamazoo Citizens Voting No to Special Rights Discrimination, said the measure would “victimize” religious groups.

“No religious person should be indicted for living out his protected religious convictions,” she said.

“I think the amendment itself is discriminatory. I think it violates constitutionally guaranteed rights – freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion. I think it violates the privacy rights and safety of women and children,” Balkema added.

Opponents have said they cannot abide by the measure and have already vowed to repeal the ordinance. AFA of Michigan President Gary Glenn said he will begin a petition drive Tuesday.

Fifteen Michigan municipalities currently ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.