Fenton passes nondiscrimination ordinance protecting LGBT community
By Andrew Keller, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
FENTON, MI (WNEM) -
Fenton City Council members spent nearly a month considering a highly contested issue which would put protections in place for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
"This is the only group in America that can be legally discriminated against," Mark Hamel said at Monday night's council meeting.
"It isn't anyone's business what another one does in their home. I just think that we should just go on about our business," Linsey Fielding told council members.
On Monday night, several people stood up in front of the Fenton City Council meeting to share their opinions before council members went for a vote.
"'C,' this law is interesting, 'C,' for copycat law, other communities are doing this, so let's do it here in Fenton," Fielding said.
"It is still going on and it is still needed, so we greatly appreciate those of you considering this," said Marie Tino, who supported the ordinance.
And after hearing the comments of residents, the council voted to put the ordinance in place.
"I hate to see anybody get discriminated against," said councilman Les Bland.
"Everybody should have their rights to do things," said councilwoman Cheryl King.
It is now unlawful to discriminate against anyone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, whether it be providing services or providing employment. There will also be a fine for businesses that do so under the ordinance.
"It says that if small-town America believes in it, it should be important at a state level and a national level as well," Hamel said following Monday's meeting.
Earlier this year, both Bay City and Saginaw tried to pass similar ordinances protecting the LGBT community. Both of those motions failed.
According to the group Unity Michigan, this makes Fenton the 33rd community in the state to have an ordinance specifically protecting the LGBT community.
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