BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The EBR Metro Council has voted against the controversial fairness ordinance by a vote of 8 to 4. Councilmembers John Delgado, Donna Collins-Lewis, Chandler Loupe, and C. Denise Marcelle all voted in favor of the ordinance.
The ordinance would have made 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 vote comes after public comments and opinions from both sides were shared at its July 22 meeting for more than three hours, but the council couldn't vote due to time limits.
Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle proposed the ordinance. She says 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.
"It's not an affirmation of homosexuality. It's an affirmation of nondiscrimination," Marcelle says. "I don't care how it looks discrimination will not be accepted in any form by Denise Marcelle.”
Council Member Buddy Amoroso, who was among the eight to vote against the ordinance, said he doesn't see the need for the law.
"I don't feel this meets the same level of discrimination I've seen with other minorities primarily African Americans back in the sixties when I was young."
"This has been hard for everyone in this room," says Councilwoman Donna Collins-Lewis.