Reactions to non-discrimination ordinance, possibilities

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A packed room as the Jackson city council worked toward its final decision on the non-discrimination ordinance. It makes it so people can’t be fired or evicted from their apartments based off their gender or sexual identity. It passed at the last meeting but now it could be brought to a public vote because of a petition.

“I hope they’re going to throw out the petition,” Elizabeth Fleming, who’s for the NDO said. “I think there are a lot of problems with it and there’s a lawyer here to challenge that tonight”

Terry Boyd says he’d be disappointed if the council did that. He helped circulate the petitions and is against the ordinance.

“It’s giving exclusive rights,” Boyd said. “More rights for one people than to another and I’m against that.”

He says it’s a major decision for the city and it’s most fair to put it to the public vote.

“Whether it passes or not, I’d prefer that it didn’t pass,” Boyd said. “But as long as the people have the say so, that’s what I’m about.”

If the issue does go to a vote, people for the ordinance say they’d be upset.

“Disappointed,” Beth Lawry-Smith, who’s for the ordinance said.
“Disappointed that it’d go to a vote. That we didn’t trust the city council to do what they felt was right for the city.”

But they’d do their best to get the public to pass it.

“We just have to get out the vote and educate people that the NDO is for equal protection and rights for everybody and that there are provisions for religious organizations to be discriminatory.”

While people against it believe the public will take their side and shoot it down.

“I’m hoping they do, but that will be the question,” a man against the ordinance said.