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Roeland Park City Council Votes Down Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

The Roeland Park City Council on Monday voted down an ordinance  that would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. 

The anti-discrimination ordinance had been a hotly debated issue in the Johnson County suburb and drew a crowd last night of about 150 people. Some members of the crowd wore blue shirts to show their support for the ordinance.

After hearing nearly 50 public comments, the council voted 4-3 against adding the ordinance. One council member was absent.

Council  member Megan England was one of the sponsors of the ordinance.

“I’m just pretty shocked, pretty stunned," said England.  "It’s a really sad day for Roeland Park.”

The ordinance would have excluded churches, school districts and non-profit groups and have protected LGBT people as well as veterans from discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodation. 

England said the vote went against residents wanted and she will look into what the next step might be to pass an anti-discrimination measure in Roeland Park. 

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