Voters will get the final say in a controversial gay protections bill approved by Kalamazoo city leaders in June, the Kalamazoo Gazette reported.

City leaders unanimously voted Monday to put the proposal on the November ballot.

Opponents of the ordinance that makes it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity (transgender protections) in the areas of housing, public accommodations and employment left lawmakers with few options after they submitted 2,088 signatures – 60% more than the 1,273 valid voter signatures needed to qualify for the ballot box – to force a vote last week.

Leaders have unanimously approved the bill twice. Last January they were forced to rescind a similar measure after a local chapter of the American Family Association (AFA) submitted sufficient signatures to suspend the law until commissioners voted to repeal it or voters decided its future.

City leaders wrestled for months with the legislation before approving the measure. They listened to often heated testimony from hundreds of citizens during public hearings.

The group Kalamazoo Citizens Voting No to Special Rights have vociferously opposed the legislation, calling it an attempt to discriminate against religious groups, despite the law's exemptions for churches.

The recently-formed group One Kalamazoo will campaign for passage of the measure.

Fifteen Michigan municipalities currently ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.