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In a special session called tonight in Roeland Park, Kansas, the city leaders and mayor took up the issue of non-discrimination policy for LGBT members of their community.

This move at non-discrimination for LGBT failed a few weeks ago:

ROELAND PARK, Kan. - Roeland Park council members didn't pass the controversial nondiscrimination ordinance that would protect people based on sexual identity and gender.

Out of eight city council members, only three voted in favor of the ordinance and four voted against it. One council member, Becky Fast, was absent.

The Mayor said council woman Fast got in a car accident and could not attend the meeting. If she would have voted in favor, the Mayor would have voted to break the tie.

Nearly 200 people packed a community room at the Roeland Park Community Center. Council members have debated the language of the ordinance since February and agreed on a final version.

"What this ordinance would do is if a resident, a shopper, an employee here in Roeland Park is discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or military status, they would have an avenue to report that discrimination and seek remediation through the courts if necessary," said Roeland Park Council member Jennifer Gunby.

But tonight, things changed.

Becky Fast, who was unable to attend the last meeting was able to attend tonight and that was able to change the outcome of this vote.  

Roeland Park officially moves ahead with a non-discrimination policy that protects those who are LGBT.

In a phone conversation with Thomas Witt of Equality Kansas, I was informed "Absolutely this is a win for our community."

Witt's statement points out that the movement on this issue over the last few years has significantly changed, and when Roeland Park city residents showed up at the town meeting, applause broke out as Roeland Park joins Lawrence, Kansas as communities that officially protect those of LGBT status.

This is a huge step forward for rights in the city and hopefully one of the first moves toward a domino effect in our metro.

Originally posted to Kansas & Missouri Kossacks on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 07:24 PM PDT.

Also republished by Sex, Body, and Gender.

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