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Group Rallies for Repeal of Non-discrimination Ordinance

Credit Steve Fines / KSMU
Supporters of the Yes on Question One Committee hold up campaign signs.

The Yes on Question 1 committee kicked off its campaign Saturday morning in a quest to repeal the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) non-discrimination ordinance.

SOGI, also known as ordinance 6141, was amended by the Springfield City Council in October to expand discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. But a successful referendum petition sent the measure to the voters.

Dee Wampler is an attorney and long-time Springfield resident.

“Well the ordinance says, and I’m using their words, that if you do anything that shows quote ‘resistance to the full enjoyment of their rights’ okay whatever that means,” Wampler said. “If you resist the full enjoyment of somebody’s rights to be LGBT, then you are subject to being sued.”

Calvin Morrow is the chairperson of the Yes campaign committee.

“One thing on the Mayor’s Commission of Human Rights Report, something that would open you up for investigation is a lack of mutual respect,” Morrow said. “I want that to soak in; mutual respect. I can look at you wrong, I could not respond the way you expected me to respond to something. This language is so broad no one’s potentially innocent.”

Morrow added, “This is a trap people; that’s all it is. It’s a trap to marginalize the church, to criminalize Christianity, that’s all this is. Everything else is your Trojan horse.”

To emphasize its need for donations, Dr. John Lilly informed the crowd of over 50 people about the money the opposition has received.

“Human Rights Campaign, Washington D.C., this is national. $37,185 dollars in kind donation.”

Crystal Clinkenbeard is the communications director for the No Repeal campaign, which held its own campaign rally on Thursday.

“This is about real peoples’ lives and their community, their ability to feel safe and wanted where they live, their ability to make a future,” Clinkenbeard said. “Voting no on question one is how we help Springfield become the place we believe it can be.”

A "no" vote keeps the ordinance and a "yes" vote repeals it.

Voters will decide the measure on the April 7. The deadline to register to vote is Wednesday, March 11.

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