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Murray Human Rights Commission Postpones Bringing Ordinance Forward To Allow Community Input

Ludovic Bertron, via Wikimedia Commons

Not long before yesterday’s Murray City Council meeting, the Human Rights Commission decided to hold off bringing its ordinance to a vote. The updated ordinance would protect people of different sexual orientations and gender identities.

HRC Chairman Jody Cofer Randall says the human rights ordinance hasn’t had a significant update since it was adopted in 1970. But before taking it to the city council, the commission wanted to hear from the public, especially as more people approached them with concerns.

“A number of people want to share their perspective or their opinion that don’t feel like they’ve had that opportunity although this is something that has been worked on for several years,” Randall said.

City Hall was packed with community members yesterday as many were still expecting the HRC to bring the ordinance forward although the group announced its intentions to postpone shortly before the meeting.

Randall says he has heard two main criticisms of the ordinance’s changes to include protections for LGBT people.

“Either they still oppose it on religious grounds, even though the recommended draft has two pages of exemptions for religion,” Randall said. “But the other is there is some people saying they believe this effort would hurt small businesses.”

But not all comments have been critical. Randall says others have told him “it’s exactly what we need.”

Randall says even with the criticism the HRC still plans on bringing its changes to the city council. Here is an excerpt from Randall’s statement yesterday:

The Commission believes that everyone in Murray has the right to earn a living, put a roof over their family’s head, and eat at their favorite restaurant without being asked to leave due to their intrinsic human characteristics. This is something that we remain committed to, but are open to additional community input as to how we insure that is accomplished for everyone.

Randall invites community members to come to a public meeting 6:30 p.m., Dec. 8, at Murray City Hall to discuss their concerns with the ordinance.

Whitney grew up listening to Car Talk to and from her family’s beach vacation each year, but it wasn’t until a friend introduced her to This American Life that radio really grabbed her attention. She is a recent graduate from Union University in Jackson, Tenn., where she studied journalism. When she’s not at WKMS, you can find her working on her backyard compost pile and garden, getting lost on her bicycle or crocheting one massive blanket.
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