Saginaw City Council shoots down plans for LGBT workplace ordinance
By Andrew Keller, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -
The Saginaw City Council meeting lasted five and a half hours and ended early Tuesday morning. Around 12:15 a.m., council members voted to not make a decision on the Human Rights Ordinance.
Council members were set to discuss the budget Monday night, but council chambers were full of people who wanted to talk about a hot-button issue that proposes workplace protections for those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. It is a controversial item that has drawn both support and opposition.
"What does sexual orientation, I ask you, have to do with civil or human rights? I will say to you absolutely nothing," said Rev. Relinda Mushatt.
"I have the right to exist. We've talked a lot about personal rights. I have the personal right to exist," said Joanna Hill.
Late Monday night, councilman Dan Fitzpatrick made a motion to call for the question regarding the Human Rights Ordinance and have council members vote yes or no. But the legality of this motion was questioned by the city's attorney, who told the council that the ordinance was ultimately killed at an April meeting when the council decided to table the item and postpone it indefinitely.
The council then voted early Tuesday morning to reintroduce the ordinance at the next meeting. The motion failed. That means the Saginaw City Council will not discuss the ordinance at its next meeting or make a decision anytime soon.
Councilwoman Annie Boensch introduced the ordinance in April. Following the meeting, she told TV5 she was disappointed with this council's decision.
"I think it was very obvious to anyone watching that this was a deliberate sabotage of this ordinance, and there was clearly not support in place in the first place, and it's a disappointment. It's a disappointment," said Boesnch.
Boensch said she will continue to work toward an ordinance to give protections to the LGBT community. But as of right now, it is apparent by the actions of the city council the proposed ordinance is dead in the water.
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