Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

August 18, 2009

Goshen council approves gay rights amendment to ordinance

Dozens of people Tuesday night passionately pleaded for and against the addition of sexual orientation language to Goshen’s Community Relations Commission ordinance.

After more than two hours of listening to members of a crowd that filled the Council chambers, the foyer and extended down the steps to the street, the council voted to add the wording.

The council vote was 4-3 in favor of the amendment. But the tally won’t be the last one taken. The council passed the amendment on first reading only, meaning the issue will come before the council again Sept. 1.

If the council’s vote stands in September, what will be added to the ordinance will be words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

The words will be inserted after the rundown on other reasons discrimination cannot be conducted in Goshen, which include race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin or ancestry.

Eric Kanagy, who served on a task force that talked about the issue of discrimination against homosexuals for two months and then proposed the ordinance amendment, said some people have the perception that the amendment would force Christian organizations, including churches, to hire gays.

“That’s not true,” Kanagy said.

He said religious organizations have been given federal exemption from such requirements.

“In the end we are talking about discrimination,” he said. “...this is not a controversial issue in my mind.”

Kanagy said 43 employers in Goshen have similar anti-discrimination policies in place and six other Indiana cities have similar ordinances.

Michelle Marquis, also a member of the task force, said many members of Goshen’s homosexual community have found it hard to talk about discrimination against them.

“It’s been quiet not because there is no discrimination in Goshen,” she said, “just that there is no protection.”

She said the task force heard from many people, some of who don’t support homosexuality for religious reasons.

Text Only
Breaking News
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Poll

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results