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Muskegon considers laws protecting gay or transgender people

ULIE at lansing.jpg
Nancy Gallardo
Until Love Is Equal
Protestors gathered in Lansing January 18th 2012 to speak against a new state law banning most public entities from offering benefits to same sex partners.

The City of Muskegon seems likely to pass local laws protecting gay and transgender people from discrimination in housing and employment.

The state and federal government do not offer this protection, but almost 20 Michigan cities do.

Roberta King lives in Muskegon. She was "pleasantly surprised" no one opposed the local law when she asked city commission to consider it this week.

 “It can be a controversial subject. It was controversial in Holland and still is. So I thought it could be something where it might evoke feelings or ideas or opposition, and it did not,” King said Tuesday.

The City of Holland, less than 40 miles away from Muskegon, rejected anti-discrimination laws by a 5 to 4 vote last summer. People still pressure Holland city council to change its mind. King says Holland’s rejection played a role in her asking Muskegon to consider the anti-discrimination rules.

“I just believe discrimination is wrong. Any kind for any reason,” King said.

The Muskegon Chronicle reports no commissioner or person in the audience spoke against the rules. King says there could very well be some opposition in the future, but doubts it’ll change commissioners’ minds. “I think we will see this happen in Muskegon very soon,” King said with a smile.

 Muskegon city officials say staff is drafting a version of the ordinance to bring back to the commission for a vote within a month.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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