On Tuesday night, the Berea City Council announced it will take longer than expected to come to a decision about the possibility of a city fairness ordinance. The council has held public forums on the ordinance, which would prohibit discrimination in the workplace and housing market due to sexual orientation and gender identity.
“It’s a very serious issue,” says Diane Kerby, who serves on the council. “One that deserves as much time as it needs to make sure that we’re making the right decision and that we consider all the various comments and support.”
Chris Hartman’s Fairness Campaign has lobbied for the ordinance. Although the decision will be delayed, he says he isn’t dismayed by the announcement.
“I’m not concerned that it’s not going to happen,” he says. “Certainly I want the city to be certain that they’re moving in the right direction. It’s just the legislative process sometimes takes longer than I’d like.”
Kerby characterizes the public’s opinion as split, with passionate voices on both sides. She says the council will put off making a decision for as long as necessary and will use this time to consult legal experts.