The fight to keep a gay protections law
in Kalamazoo, Michigan has taken to the airways. One Kalamazoo, the
gay rights group supporting the measure, unveiled its first ad
The 30-second spot titled Neighbors
leaves the measure's controversy at the door, focusing instead on the
virtues of the ordinance.
City leaders approved the measure that
makes it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and
gender identity (transgender protections) twice before opponents
forced them to put the measure up for a vote.
The group Kalamazoo Citizens Voting No
to Special Rights has vociferously opposed the legislation, calling it
an attempt to discriminate against religious groups despite the
law's exemptions for churches.
Officials put the measure up for a vote
after the group submitted 2,088 signatures against the ordinance –
60% more than the 1,273 valid voter signatures needed to qualify for
the ballot box.
The campaign to approve the ordinance
is leaving the gay out of its message. A heterosexual family is
featured on the One Kalamazoo website. And Neighbors only
hints that the measure bans discrimination based on sexual
orientation or gender identity.
“Admit it, Kalamazoo is special,” a
female announcer says in the ad. “A great place to raise a
“On November 3, a yes vote on
nondiscrimination ordinance 1856 will help guarantee that all
Kalamazoo families are treated fairly and equally by adding basic
protections for people who are gay or transgender and reaffirming
equality and fairness for all,” she says.
“Vote November 3: yes on 1856,” she
adds as the final frame features a heterosexual family with two