Posted: Aug 14, 2012 11:39 AM by Associated Press
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Hundreds of people turned out at a Springfield City Council meeting to oppose or support a proposal to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the city's nondiscrimination ordinance.
Of the hundreds that attended, 77 residents signed up to discuss the bill, with 46 in favor and 31 opposed.
A source reports time constraints prevented them all from speaking.
The public hearing will continue in two weeks, and the council could vote on the measure at its Aug. 27 meeting.
If the bill passes, the two groups would be protected from discrimination in housing, public accommodations, and employment.
Opponents cited religious beliefs and potential hardships on businesses as reasons to reject the ordinance. Supporters cited their religious beliefs, fairness and said the ordinance could actually help businesses.