Clergy Petition For Rights Of LGBTQ

City offers protection based on race and gender but not sexual orientation

December 21, 2012
A small group of area residents this week petitioned the Webster Groves City Council to adopt an ordinance to provide protection to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Rev. Katherine HawkerSelf, pastor of Peace United Church of Christ, and Rev. Dr. Laurel Taylor, assistant professor at Eden Theological Seminary, Tuesday asked the council to make a commitment to protect LGBTQ individuals and same-gender couples against discriminatory practices in housing, employment and public venues such as restaurants. HawkerSelf said experience has shown there is a need for such protection.

"Our petition is signed by 18 clergy members from six different local churches in Webster," HawkerSelf said. "We're asking the council to adopt an ordinance to provide the kind of protection city officials in Kirkwood, Richmond Heights, Clayton and Maplewood have already put in place."

HawkerSelf said the Webster council has approved protective clauses based on race or gender, but there has been no specific wording in an ordinance to prevent discrimination against the LGBTQ community. She said they are hoping for a favorable response to their petition.

The council took the group's request under advisement without comment.

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