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Today is Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Decatur IL Passes Trans-inclusive Civil Rights Law

[DECATUR, IL] - The Decatur City Council has approved a controversial gay rights proposal that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is defined to include gender identity.

In voting 6-1 for the measure Monday night, the city joins a growing list of Illinois cities -- including Normal -- that have given sexual orientation the same legal protection as race, gender, age and religious differences.

Proponents of the Decatur ordinance described the measure as simply a matter of fairness and equity, likening it to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Most opponents made religious-based objections, saying homosexual lifestyles conflict with teachings of the Bible.

Bloomington may be the next city to take up the issue.

City officials previously said the city council may vote Oct. 28 on a proposal to add sexual orientation language to the city's human rights ordinance that bans discrimination in jobs, housing, lending and
public accommodation.

The measure was defeated six years ago, as was a similar measure in Normal. However, the town council revisited a similar proposal a year ago and passed it.

So far, the Bloomington council remains split on the issue with three aldermen expressing support for it, three saying they are against it and three remaining uncommitted.

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