By Andrew Hayes
Holt Journal staff writer
The Delhi Township Board of Trustees is set to vote on a non-discrimination ordinance at its Oct. 1 meeting. The ordinance attempts to protect against discrimination because of “perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, height, weight, marital status, physical or mental limitation, source of income, family responsibilities, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, genetic information or any protected status.”
The main goal of the ordinance is to protect members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community from being denied housing, employment or service.
Township Clerk Evan Hope started the initiative with the help of the One Capital Region organization, according to Gina Calcagno, field director of the One Capital region campaign.
“One Capital Region is part of a statewide initiative that works to pass legislation protecting the LGBT community,” Calcagno said.
According to Township Supervisor C.J. Davis, the ordinance would be a deterrent against possible discrimination.
“We’re not going out and looking for discrimination,” Davis said. “We’re creating a group to handle discrimination when it happens.”
The Complaint Review Committee would handle any reports of discrimination. According to the ordinance, this committee would havea member of the township board of trustees, the township manager, the township human resource director, and one citizen of Delhi Township.
At the Sept. 17 meeting, the board preliminarily passed the ordinance 7-0. “I cannot imagine it would change,” Davis said.
Despite unanimous support from the board, some Delhi residents have voiced dissent. Fred Froman, pastor at Holt Baptist Church, read a statement approved by multiple local clergy members.
Cedar Street Church Pastor Bob Carpenter was one of the clergy who supported the statement.
“I don’t see the value of creating some new mechanism to create dissension between people,” Carpenter said. “This is a very nice community.”
“We don’t want anybody mistreated,” Carpenter said. “All of the pastors that signed that statement would stand up at any other meeting to defend someone who’s being mistreated.”
Currently, there is no statewide law in Michigan protecting the LGBT community from discrimination.
The final vote on the ordinance will take place at the Oct. 1 meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Committee of the Whole meeting at the Delhi Charter Township building at 2074 Aurelius Road.