For Immediate Release
Amendments Expected on Council Bill 2012-226
Springfield City Council is expected to make a couple of amendments to Council Bill No. 2012-226 (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) before tonight's public hearing on the issue. City legal staff and the City Manager recommend the amendments, which they say will ensure the ordinance is in line with state and federal laws.
One amendment removes language from the ordinance to make sure a religious exemption clearly mirrors the religious exemption granted under federal anti-discrimination law.
"The intent of the ordinance was to mirror the federal law exemption, in which religious organizations can make decisions favoring members of their own religion," assistant city attorney Sarah Kerner said. "But, the language was confusing and so we tightened it up to make sure that religious exemption is clear."
A second amendment takes out a line about the suspension of statute of limitations while discrimination claims are being investigated. Statutes of limitations are set by the state and limit the time to file a prosecution in municipal court, following an alleged infraction.
"These are purely legal fixes and not substantive changes, and the ordinance basically stays the same," Kerner said.
For more information, contact Cora Scott at 417-864-1009.