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Olathe City Council passes non-discrimination ordinance

Posted at 2:31 AM, Dec 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-04 08:49:28-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Olathe became the latest city in Johnson County, Kansas, to pass non-discrimination protections for members of the LGBT community.

Council members narrowly passed the ordinance on a 4-3 vote late Tuesday night. The final vote came in at around 11 p.m.

An estimated 250 to 300 people attended the meeting, many of them to support the protections.

"I'm extremely happy," Dakota Morrison said. "I mean, I can finally live and work in the city that I live in, working without fear of being fired, without fear of being persecuted."

The pastor of an Olathe church also praised the new protections.

"For me as a Christian and as a pastor, this is a wonderful thing to be celebrated to see people who have historically been pushed to the margins of our societies, being welcomed and even if just a little bit," Brandon Frick said. "This is not an issue of special rights, this is an issue of equal rights."

Olathe council member John Bacon wanted to table the ordinance until the new council is sworn in in January, but the rest of the council rejected that idea.

Several Johnson County cities have adopted non-discrimination ordinances. The rules prevent businesses from firing employees based solely on their sexual orientation or gender identity. They also prevent businesses and housing authorities from discriminating against members of the LGBT community.

Olathe's ordinance will go into effect immediately.