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.