A proposed human rights ordinance designed to help protect Kirksville residents from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity has been kicked around and revised and discussed and revised again and discussed again, and it is still very much alive.
Prior to Monday afternoon's Kirksville City Council Study Session where council members discussed the proposal at length again, a group supporting the ordinance held a rally outside the Economic Development Alliance building in Kirksville.
A variety of speakers addressed the group about why it is important to keep up the fight to get the human rights ordinance passed in Kirksville.
Following the rally, councilmen expressed their differing views on the proposal.
"We don't need this,â?? said Robert Russell. â??The City of Kirksville does not need this. We have never had a problem with gays or sexual orientation in this city. This city has never had a problem with discriminating against anybody taking a job."
Councilman Glen Moritz supports the proposal.
"This is really not a religious issue so much as just all people being included in non-discrimination causes,â?? said Moritz. â??To me, that kind of clouds the issue sometimes."
Moritz and Councilman Jerry Mills strongly support the proposed amendment.
Russell and Councilman Roger Edge adamantly oppose it.
Mayor Richard Detweiler is torn.
He originally opposed it, but now he said he thinks the council owes it to the people of Kirksville to put more time into it, revise the ordinance again and try to find some middle ground.
The issue is tentatively on the agenda for the council's next study session on August 19.
City leaders are planning to look for a bigger venue for that session because Truman State University will be back in session then, and dozens if not hundreds of people are expected to attend that August 19th study session.
And, even though the topic wasn't on the agenda at Monday night's Kirksville City Council meeting, 21 people took the podium for a total of almost an hour-and-a-half to try and sway council members one way or the other about the human rights ordinance.
To view raw video from the Council meeting, click HERE.