Topeka retains anti-bias law TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) -- Voters on Tuesday upheld an ordinance that prohibits discrimination against homosexuals in municipal hiring, turning back a repeal movement led by a minister known for picketing the funerals of AIDS victims. Source: CNN [Link]
One of the minister's granddaughters, meanwhile, fell far short in her efforts to unseat an openly gay member of the City Council.
The Rev. Fred Phelps Sr. was seeking to remove from the books a city ordinance that prohibits discrimination against gays in municipal hiring. The repeal measure would also bar Topeka from reinstating such protections for 10 years.
In final, unofficial results, 53 percent opposed the repeal, with 14,285 voting "no," and 12,795 voting "yes."
After the vote, Phelps dared the City Council to consider another, broader ordinance and promised to continue his activities.
Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said the vote was encouraging, coming after voters last year amended 13 states' constitutions to ban gay marriage.
"This really was a question in every gay American's mind whether Fred Phelps represented the voters of Topeka," he said.
Phelps' granddaughter, Jael Phelps (pictureed above), was among three candidates challenging openly gay council member Tiffany Muller in a nonpartisan primary.
Complete results showed Jael Phelps finishing a distant fourth and Muller in second place. That allowed Muller to advance to an April 5 general election. An attorney finished first and also advanced. [More]