MISSOURI: Springfield Readies For Repeal Vote On LGBT Non-Discrimination Laws
Mirroring a wave of anti-equality efforts in state legislatures and cities across the nation, opponents of a recently passed LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance in Missouri's third largest city are asking voters to repeal the law on April 7. In a 6-3 vote on Oct. 13, The Springfield City Council passed City Ordinance 6141, a bill to amend the city’s current nondiscrimination ordinance by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected categories in employment, housing, and public accommodations.Leading the repeal drive is local megachurch Pastor John Lindell, who says, "It is possible for someone who has been a life-long alcoholic to stop. It is possible for somebody who has a cutting tongue and a big mouth to stop. It is possible for someone who is engaged in homosexual behavior to stop." Over 100 Springfield businesses have formed a coalition in opposition to the repeal. Yesterday the anti-LGBT side posted the below testimony from a local gay man who supports the repeal of his own rights. Note the on-screen message at the end.
But any celebration was short-lived when the following month an opposition group successfully turned in more than 2,600 signatures (the threshold is 10 percent of the votes in the most recent April municipal election) to repeal the expansion through a ballot referendum known as Question 1. Proponents of the repeal say they don't want the regulations expanding into their businesses, their churches - or their bathrooms. "We're in a battle for our children and our children's children," said Calvin Morrow, Yes on Question 1 spokesman, the Springfield News Leader reports. Morrow went on to call the ordinance an attack on Christianity.