Salina's Amended Discrimination Ordinance To Be Implemented June 4th
KSAL Staff - Mon 04:58 PM 09/10/2012
Salina’s amended anti-discrimination ordinance will go into effect later this week, and be implemented on June 4th.
City Commissioners last week on first reading elected to change the anti-discrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The ordinance will prohibit discrimination of gay, lesbian, or transgender residents in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations.
On second reading Monday the ordinance was again approved, with the implementation date added. The ordinance will go into effect when it is published later this week in the Salina Journal, probably Thursday, or Friday. In order to give businesses time to make sure they are in compliance, it will not be implemented for two weeks, on June 4th.
Just like a week ago, the vote on the issue was 3 – 2. Vice Mayor Barb Shirley and Commissioners Aaron Householter and Kaye Crawford voted for the ordinance change. Mayor Norm Jennings and Commissioner Samantha Angell voted against it.
The meeting was the culmination of several months of discussion, and public meetings on the issue. As part of the process, the city hosted three public forums on the issue.
But, the issue might not yet be over. Those opposed to the ordinance change could ultimately get it put on a ballot for a public vote to overturn via a petition drive. Anyone considered doing that is advised to first contact County Counselor Mike Montoya.
If enough valid signatures are gathered, the Salina City Commission would put it on the ballot. They would have 90 days to call the election. If no election is on the ballot within 90 days, a special election would be called.
Salina City Attorney Greg Bengston said that at this point, if a valid petition is turned in, it is too late to be on the ballot for the August primary election. For it to be on the ballot in the November general election, it would have to be approved by September 3rd. The advantage to having it on the ballot in a primary or general election is that it would not coast any money. There would be a cost in calling a special election.