But as the vote has neared, efforts to derail it have ramped up. Over the weekend, a flier was distributed to Roeland Park residents (copy below) alleging that the ordinance is "poorly constructed, does not provide for due process and is fiscally irresponsible." The group distributing the flier goes by the Orwellian name RP Residents for Non-Discrimination. They're anonymous, too - always a strong indication that a group is proud of what it's doing.
A workshop set up to discuss the ordinance, held on Tuesday evening, ended up lasting four hours. It was eventually agreed that the vote would need to be pushed back even further.
We didn't make it out to the workshop, but the Prairie Village Post, which has been covering the story since councilwomen Megan England and Jennifer Gunby introduced the ordinance, reports that, "Hung up over the question of whether to form a Human Rights Commission that would play a part in investigating complaints of discrimination in the city and uncomfortable with the idea of bringing the code up for a final vote before the councilor had adequate time to digest the myriad tweaks made to the ordinance's language Tuesday, the council agreed to postpone yet again a vote on the law."
This is our favorite part of the report:
Over the course of a discussion about which restroom facilities transgendered individuals should be using, councilor Mel Croston asked Sandra Meade, chair of the Kansas Equality Coalition and a transgendered rights advocated, why transgendered individuals "don't just have the surgery and not have to worry about this?"
Quite a soundbite there.
England tells The Pitch that instead of voting on Monday, the council will continue to take public comments as well as review a revised draft of the ordinance from the city's attorney that reflects the agreed-upon changes from last Tuesday's meeting.
"We will also discuss unresolved issues including the possible creation of a Human Rights Commission," she says. "What would its purpose be? Would it act as part of the enforcement process or simply serve as a tool for education and outreach regarding diversity in the city. Perhaps it is a blend of the two. Hopefully, we can make significant headway in creating a final draft to be created and voted upon in the near future."
Creepy flier below.