Gay rights play in Peoria

BY Advocate.com Editors

April 23 2003 11:00 PM ET

Peoria, Ill., has joined a growing list of Illinois cities banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. The city council voted 8-3 Tuesday to amend its human rights ordinance to protect gays and lesbians against discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Supporters said the gay rights amendment is a matter of fairness and protecting basic human rights. "A yes vote tonight means I don't agree with people being discriminated against," said councilman Clyde Gulley Jr. "That's it. It doesn't mean I agree with homosexuality. I don't."

Opponents argued that the change sanctions immorality. Brad Dunham, who lobbied against the amendment on behalf of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens, said the proposal asks the council "to put its stamp of approval and validate a certain chosen lifestyle."

Peoria's ordinance had protected people against bias based on race, religion, gender, age, marital status, national origin, ancestry, and disability.

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