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LGBT Protections Rescinded in Springfield, Missouri

LGBT Protections Rescinded in Springfield, Missouri
Neal Broverman

Following a push from evangelical Christian leaders, Springfield, Mo., voters  Tuesday repealed an expanded antidiscrimination ordinance that protected LGBT people in the realms of housing and employment.

The "Yes on Question 1" campaign to repeal  the antidiscrimination ordinance passed by the City Council in October won with 51 percent of the vote. Equality opponents said the measure would interfere with religious freedom; scare tactics were also used in regard to the use of public bathrooms by transgender people.

"The problem with the ordinance is that it had so many potential legal ramifications for businesses, for public safety, for the good of the city," councilman and repeal supporter Justin Burnett told the Springfield News-Leader. "There was no need for the ordinance."

Question 1 became a national issue, and even some local gay people supported repealing the pro-LGBT measure. In response to passage, a protest is planned on Friday night in Springfield's main square.

Other than LGBT state workers, Missouri offers no discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

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