EBR Metro Council set to vote on fairness ordinance

Fairness Ordinance Vote Preview - Part 1

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - After time constraints prevented the East Baton Rouge Metro Council from deciding on the controversial fairness ordinance at its July 22 meeting, council members will vote on the proposal Wednesday.

The ordinance would make it illegal to discriminate against veterans, seniors and members of the gay, lesbian and transgender communities in Baton Rouge when it comes to employment, housing and public accommodations. The matter has equally received as much opposition as support.

"I do believe that the constituents, and from what I'm told, majority of the constituents do want this passed in Baton Rouge, then they need to do what they need to do about the people who are representing them," Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle said.

Marcelle proposed the ordinance. The debate turned ugly and personal for her. She said she became the victim of threatening, anonymous hate mail sent to her personal residence over the weekend.

"When you go to that extreme to hide your identity, it causes some concern, especially when you tell me to be careful. I really didn't know what to take of that, so I did turn it over to the police department," Marcelle explained.

She hopes the council will pass the ordinance, but said even if the measure fails, the conversation has been important and well worth the controversy.

"I do believe that if you don't stand up for something, you fall for anything. I believe what I stood up for. It's about all people, not just gay and lesbian, but veterans and seniors, that I put in the ordinance," Marcelle added.

The meeting starts at 4 p.m.

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