Win for Common Sense!

Goshen Mayor Tables Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity Ordinance

Because of your hard work, common sense won this evening!


You called, you emailed, and you called again. The Goshen City Council listened to you. They didn’t have the votes they needed to pass the dangerous sexual orientation gender identity ordinance that would’ve impacted religious freedom and the health and safety of women and children.

Mayor Kauffman began the meeting with an apology to the council. He stated he thought he could tweak the original sexual orientation, gender identity ordinance by putting a religious exemption into it. He said he was wrong. He announced the ordinance and both resolutions would be introduced, and then immediately tabled indefinitely. The meeting was adjourned and a town hall meeting was opened to those who live, work and pay taxes in the city of Goshen.

This is a huge victory for those who believe in the First Amendment and the health and safety of women and children. This happened because citizens called, emailed, and took to social media. The mayor stated he personally responded to 300 emails and did not have time to respond the past couple of days. Never doubt the impact of your work.

The community spoke for 90 minutes. Some spoke for the ordinance, and some spoke against. After the testimony,  the council discussed where to go from here. Councilman Ahlersmeyer questioned a gentleman (I didn’t catch his name) whose job was community relations in Goshen. Mr Ahlersmeyer asked him if he felt the bakers and photographers should have to provide a service if it went against their religious convictions. The gentleman replied, after dancing around the issue a bit, said that it was a tricky situation, but in the end they are a public service who would have to provide the service.

The battle is not over. The mayor stated he will look into “other” ways to look at implementing the protections in the ordinance and the conversation was just beginning. (Yes, he used the word executive order) The battle will also head to the statehouse in January.

Never forget the impact you have when you engage.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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5 thoughts on “Win for Common Sense!

  1. Let’s take note that when the Goshen residents were allowed to voice their opinion they were 60% in favor of the ordinance. Also would like to note that I did not hear any LGBT folks in opposition to the ordinance. I believe that you had said you were expecting a large LGBT group to show up to the meeting and voice their opinion in opposition. Everyone who lined up was allowed to speak. No one was turned away due to time. The people of Goshen have spoken.

    • Thanks for your note Karen,
      I think you bring up an excellent point and a very good lesson. You are right. People need to speak out. There were many many folks there who opposed the ordinance for different reasons who did not get in line to speak because the things they were going to say were already said. It’s important for folks to speak up, even if it has already been said. Politicians do count.
      One thing I left confused about… There were many LGBT folks who said they want to be protected and need special protection. I couldn’t figure out from what…. I didn’t hear any stories of denied service or housing. I did hear they felt unwelcome. I did hear folks say that Goshen was an amazing place to live… There are places I feel unwelcome but I don’t need special protection. I think (if I understand correctly) they want forced acceptance. Forced celebration. Which as long as we have folks who follow a Biblical world view, will be impossible. I can love a person but not accept a lifestyle. The sweet girl who stated she dated girls said she wants to hold hands with her girlfriend in public. Why doesn’t she? That is not outlawed now, so I guess I was just trying to understand what exactly they were asking for. Stories of denied service? Stories of tenants being kicked out because they were gay? Maybe I missed it… The man who spoke at the end was brilliant… he said, the way to fix this is to learn about each other. He gave an example of not knowing what the Q means in LGBTQ. His fear is next year we will be debating R. You can’t legislate this stuff, but you can teach. You can’t force acceptance, but you can get to know your neighbor. He’s right.

  2. I don’t think that the LGBT community is necessarily looking for your acceptance. I think they can and will live long productive and happy lives without it. I think what they want, and are entitled to, is the assurance that they cannot be denied employment, or fired from their job, or denied housing because of their sexual orientation. Discrimination is very difficult to prove but that didn’t stop our country from putting protections in place for sex, race and religion (2 of which you currently benefit from). Everyone in our country is entitled to equal treatment in the marketplace, which includes employment, housing and public accommodations. It’s our duty, as citizens, to protect those who are marginalized. What I heard that young woman saying was that she had to search the crowd to make sure her boss was not there, before she spoke. She was in fear of possibly losing her job for stating that she is bisexual. That is what needs to be protected. As far as holding the hand of her girlfriend … I agree, just go ahead and do it. And when she is met with disapproving looks or nasty comments I hope she has the courage and strength to hold her head high and rise above the hatred.