US: Second Kansas city bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

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Monday evening, the city of Roeland Park became the second city in Kansas to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The anti-discrimination bill was originally voted on in July, not passing with a vote of 4-3. But community members asked in recent weeks for a revote since council member Becky Fast was unable to attend the original vote.

Fast had previously stated that she would have voted in favor of the bill, which would have left the vote tied. Mayor Joel Marquardt, who also had publicly stated that he is in favor of the bill, would have cast the tie breaking vote, ultimately passing the legislation. 

Though some opposition was voiced by council members who opposed the legislation, the bill ultimately passed in a revote Monday night with Fast in attendance and Marquardt casting the tie-breaking vote. 

The new legislation prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and military status.

Until Monday, Lawrence was the only other city in Kansas with anti-discrimination legislation.

This past February, a bill which would have allowed religious business owners to refuse service to same-sex couples in the state of Kansas, was killed.