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Roeland Park considers gay rights measure

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ROELAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

City leaders in Roeland Park will consider next month adopting a gay rights measure.

As some states have debated religious freedom laws that would allow businesses to refuse services to gays, the city of Roeland Park is considering an ordinance that would stop such discrimination.

The ordinance would ban discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Lawrence is currently the only city in Kansas that has a gay rights measure on the books.

Salina and Hutchinson had such ordinances banning discrimination in public places, housing and the workforce but voters in 2012 repealed those. A similar measure that had been adopted in Manhattan in 2010 would later fall.

Two Roeland Park City Council members have been working on the effort for a year.

Roeland Park Mayor Joel Marquardt said waiting to hold the vote until April 21 is the right thing.

"We want to make a good decision," he said. "We want to hear, we want to think it through. We don't want to spend a year at it, but we want to give it an appropriate amount of time and give our citizens an amount of time to look at it and ask questions and to understand."

The council is considering an open forum for residents and a separate meeting with business owners.

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