SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – An ordinance that was repealed in 2015 might be back on ballots for voters soon.
At least one city councilman is advocating for Springfield to take a second look at the “SOGI” ordinance.
It was designed to protect people from being discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
You may remember back in 2014 Springfield City Council initially approved the ordinance and it was set to be put into action.
That is until several churches, religious groups, and residents challenged it, sending it to a public vote.
It was eventually repealed in a very close vote, 51 to 49 percent.
Now in 2019, City Councilman Craig Hosmer would like Springfield to reconsider the idea, saying things have changed a lot since then.
He says voters would support such protections for the LGBT community.
“I think it’s wrong to discriminate against anybody, especially on something that they don’t control whether it’s their race, their sexual orientation, their gender, their religion,” Hosmer said. “I think most people in the city of Springfield would agree with that. With marriage equality becoming effective in 2015, there has been a significant change and evolution on that issue.”
We spoke to Hosmer as well as the leader of a local religious group, Calvin Morrow, the executive director of Christians United for Political Action.
“The thing that strikes me the most is the amount of division it caused in the whole town,” Morrow said. “It was just something that people did not have to deal with before. Where was the grassroots outcry of this mass discrimination that deserves an ordinance? At the end of the day, what happened was they created a citizen with more rights than other citizens. We all deserve the same rights, and that is where we are now and I would argue that point.”
There is no set timeline for this issue to be officially proposed or voted on by city council.
Morrow and Hosmer both had several more points to make.
To hear the full interviews with both Morrow and Hosmer, you can find those in a short Ozarksfirst podcast on this topic by clicking here.