City votes to abolish laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination

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The city of Springfield, Missouri has voted to repeal a law that protects LGBT people from discrimination.

The city council in the third largest city in the state of Missouri voted last October to adopt a non-discrimination ordinance that outlaws discrimination against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity – which provided crucial protections for workers given a lack of state or federal law doing so.

However, this week a ballot was held in the city, which has a population of 165,000 – and a narrow majority of voters voted to abolish the protections.

15,347 people (51.4 percent) voted in favour of repealing the law, while 14,493 people (48.6 percent) voted to keep it on the books.

The move has been met with condemnation from rights groups, for leaving LGBT workers without vital protections.

Conceding defeat, the pro-equality campaign No Repeal said: “Thank you volunteers, thank you to those that spread the word, thank you to the businesses that supported the campaign, thank you to those that voted NO.

“We won’t stop here. No matter what we are ONE SPRINGFIELD.”

The group’s spokesperson Crystal Clinkenbeard told Buzzfeed: “We are very disappointed that we didn’t have the exact outcome that we wanted, but we are encouraged that the vote was so very close.”

The vote comes on the back of a string of anti-gay ‘religious freedom’ laws – passed in states including Arkansas and Indiana – which permit discrimination against LGBT people.