Workplace Protections Lose in South Bend

By Julie Bolcer

Originally published on Advocate.com October 29 2010 9:40 AM ET

A proposal to ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was defeated this week in South Bend, Ind.

According to the South Bend Tribune, the measure lost by a 6-3 vote Monday in the Common Council, where an overflow crowd had gathered.

Council president Derek Dieter explained his opposition partly by saying that he saw no evidence that antigay workplace discrimination existed in South Bend. The city in northern Indiana is home to the University of Notre Dame.

“Dieter said he had not seen any documentation proving workplace discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people exists, ‘and I think it (the proposal) would cause more harm than good to small businesses.’”

Patrick Mangan, executive director of the conservative group Citizens for Community Values, celebrated the vote by offering “ex-gay” counseling, according to the Tribune.

Supporters of the proposal vowed to continue their fight.