Lawrence, Kansas passed the "Simply Equal Amendment" in 19-95. It was the first city to ban discrimination in housing and hiring based on sexual orientation. Two others -- Topeka and Mission have followed suit.
Now Hutchinson may join the list, if one group has its way. Jon Powell says he's seen that kind of discrimination happen in hutchinson. As Chair of the Kansas Equality Coalition's local chapter, he went to the Hutch City Council Tuesday to ask for a change -- include sexual orientation in the city's non-discrimination policy.
"We have no where to go with these complaints," he said. "You can not submit a claim if it includes orientation. There is no one to listen to you."
Just deciding to speak out was scary enough. A few people who planned to talk to the council backed out at the last minute. Powell said it was because the meetings are televised, and they were afraid to lose their jobs.
Hutchinson Mayor Ron Sellars called the presentation "positive and well made". At this point, he said more research needs to be done on the city's current policy. He expects a report back on that in the next two to three weeks. "I sensed a mood from the council that we felt discrimination of any kind is not appropriate to answering the questions we are faced with today," he said.