LGBT discrimination ban proposed in hometown of Westboro Baptist Church

By David Edwards
Monday, July 1, 2013 15:56 EDT
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Picketer at Westboro Baptist Church protest (Flickr/John Lemieux)
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A councilman in the hometown of the anti-LGBT Westboro Baptist Church has filed a bill that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.

In a statement on his website on Monday, Topeka City Councilman Chad Manspeaker (D) explained that the proposed ordinance would expand the Topeka Human Rights Commission to “include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.”

“It is time for us as Topekans to remove the cloud of hate and bigotry from our city and to show the world we are an inclusive and loving community who protects all of its citizens,” Manspeaker said. “To some, the addition of five words to the Topeka City Code is a small change; however, to the countless citizens who face discrimination in landlord-tenant relations and in employment situations, these five words are an enormous change to our city code.”

He told told The Huffington Post that his proposal was “a small step but a giant first step in showing the world that this is not a town of bigotry and hate but a town of inclusion.”

“Do I run legislation like this because Westboro lives in Topeka? No. But it sure does feel kind of nice,” Manspeaker added.

[Photo: Flickr/John Lemieux]

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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